Skip to Main Content

News and Events

Content ID turns three

By David King

Group Product Manager

Three years ago we announced Video Identification, a technology that broke new ground in the area of online rights management. It marked the first step towards what is known today as Content ID, a full set of audio and video matching tools that give rights holders fine-grained controls for managing their content if someone uploads it YouTube. Participating rights holders provide us with reference files of their content, and before we publish any videos to YouTube we check them against these reference files. If we find a match, the rights holder gets the choice of blocking, tracking, or making money from the video. 

Fast forward to 2010. We’ve just passed a significant milestone: more than 100 million videos have been claimed with Content ID. Nearly every major media company and music label in the world uses our tools. The number of reference files provided to us by rights holders now stands at more than four million, or over 300,000 hours of content - we think it’s the most comprehensive database of its kind in the world.

Rights holders who claim their content with Content ID generally more than double the number of views against which we can run ads, doubling their potential revenue. And we’re seeing media companies make the most of this revenue opportunity - in the last quarter alone, claims to make money from videos increased 200%. Content ID contributes more than a third of YouTube’s monetized views each week, and overall, the revenue generated by Content ID is financing the ongoing creation of culture, both by established artists and new ones,

When we developed Content ID, we were hopeful that we’d gone some way toward helping solve a really tough problem -- how to manage rights issues, across platforms and countries, in a quickly evolving technology world. We’ve already invested tens of millions of dollars in this technology, and we’ll keep investigating new ways to give rights holders ever better tools, while supporting new forms of creative expression.