For YouTube creators, using music legally is key. This includes choosing the right songs for background music, jingles, or sound effects. It’s important they get proper permission to avoid any problems. Without it, their videos might get muted, deleted, or not make money.

Getting the right to use music on YouTube involves a few steps. First, creators need to know who owns the copyright. Then, they have to get permission and have it in writing. For those who can’t pay, there are free music options like Clipchamp’s library.

Key Takeaways

  • Music licensing ensures fair compensation for music creators and owners.
  • Copyright ownership typically involves songwriters and recording artists or labels.
  • A master license allows the use of a specific recorded song version.
  • A synchronization license is required for music combined with visual elements in videos.
  • Licensing costs vary, starting around $100 for small creators and can include a percentage of YouTube video revenue.

Understanding Music Licensing

Music licensing is key if you want to use songs in your YouTube videos. It means getting permission from the song’s owner to use it. This lets you add music legally to your videos. There are different types of licenses for different parts of a song, making sure owners get paid fairly.

Different Types of Music Licenses

For using music on YouTube, you mainly need two kinds of licenses:

  • Synchronization License: This is for using the words and music in a video.
  • Master Use License: This permits use of a specific recording, usually from the record label.

For sync licenses, organizations like SESAC, ASCAP, BMI, and GMR can help. But for master use licenses, you often need to go straight to the record label for the music.

Importance of Music Licensing in YouTube Videos

Having the right music permissions is crucial for YouTube videos. It keeps things legal and fair for the songs’ creators. This way, video makers and musicians are all supported fairly.

Consequences of Using Copyrighted Music Without Permission

Forgetting to get music licenses can lead to some serious outcomes. If you use a song without permission, you might face:

  1. Monetization Seizure: The song’s owner might take the ad money made from your content.
  2. Video Muting or Removal: YouTube could silence your video or pull it down if it uses unapproved music.
  3. Channel Penalties: Too many copyright strikes could get your YouTube channel banned.
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That’s why it’s so important to get the right music permissions if you’re a YouTuber. It keeps you and everyone involved safe and playing by the rules.

How to Get Permission to Use a Song on YouTube

Gaining the proper permission to use a song in your YouTube videos is key. It helps avoid legal troubles and makes your content better. Here’s a guide on getting through this process.

obtaining music rights for YouTube videos

Finding the Copyright Owner

To use music on YouTube legally, find the copyright holder first. It might be the artist, their publisher, or companies like SESAC, ASCAP, and BMI. Knowing the correct owner means you’re asking the right person for permission.

Negotiating a Permission Agreement

After finding the copyright owner, you need to talk about permission. You should agree on things like who you are, how you’ll use the music, what song it is, for how long, how popular you expect the video to be, and if it’s for making money or not.

Talking things over helps get a good agreement. This is really important for getting the rights to use music.

Obtaining Written Permission

Once you agree, get permission in writing. A written agreement is good proof and helps prevent conflicts later. Make sure the agreement covers everything and both sides understand it.

Cost of Music Licensing for YouTube Videos

The price of music licensing changes a lot. It depends on how famous the artist is and what you want to do with the music. For new creators, costs often start at $100. There might also be a share of your video’s money. Sometimes, you can use music for free if you give credit. But always carefully check the terms of any agreement. For affordable options, check out royalty-free sites like Clipchamp and YouTube’s audio library.

If you follow these steps, you’ll use music on YouTube legally. This way, you respect creators’ rights and avoid problems down the line.


Handling music copyright on YouTube means showing respect for artists’ rights. It’s also about using their work legally. Many people think a 30-second clip is okay. But in reality, laws and YouTube’s tools like Content ID catch any use of music without permission. This can cause trouble for content creators, such as claims or even losing their channel.

The fair use rule might seem like a safety net, but it’s not that simple. It depends on why and how you use the music. And if it affects the original song’s market value. So, creators need to be careful.

Some platforms, like Lickd, Audiio, and Pretzel Rocks offer a great option. They let YouTube creators pick from a wide range of music legally. These include hit songs from well-known artists. A license for Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” on Lickd costs just €7, making it very affordable. Lickd even helps with clearing rights quickly.

It’s vital to understand YouTube’s copyright rules and music licensing. These rules help protect musicians and might share ad revenue from your videos with them. But investing in the right licenses does more than keep you out of trouble. It helps build a fair and creative environment. For those who can’t pay for licenses, there’s royalty-free music. This is a good alternative for making videos that respect the law and the music industry.

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This knowledge strengthens the quality of videos made and supports everyone involved. It ensures a lasting positive impact for creators and musicians.


How do I get permission to use a song on YouTube?

First, identify the song’s copyright owner. Then, negotiate a permission agreement with them. Make sure you get written authorization. You can contact the artist, their music publisher, or organizations like SESAC, ASCAP, and BMI.

What are the different types of music licenses needed for YouTube videos?

You need a master license from the record’s copyright holder. Also, you need a synchronization (sync) license from the song’s copyright owner. This allows you to use the music in videos.

Why is music licensing important for YouTube videos?

Licensing is crucial to make sure music creators get fair pay. It also keeps your channel safe from issues like video takedowns, losing money, or being banned for breaking copyright rules.

What could happen if I use copyrighted music on YouTube without permission?

If you use music without permission, your video might be muted, deleted, or lose its ads. Getting too many copyright strikes might even lead to your channel’s removal.

How can I find the copyright owner of a song?

The copyright owner could be the artist, their publisher, or a company like SESAC, ASCAP, or BMI. Check the song credits or use online databases to find them.

What should I include in a permission agreement for using a song on YouTube?

Make sure your agreement includes media usage, the song’s playtime, expected views, and the license’s purpose. Also mention any fees or payment terms. It’s crucial these terms are clearly agreed upon by both parties.

How much does music licensing for YouTube videos cost?

The cost of a license can change. It depends on the artist and how you plan to use the music. For small creators, it might start at 0. Sometimes you’ll pay a share of your video’s money, or you can agree on other terms. There are also royalty-free music options that are more affordable, like Clipchamp.

Are there legal ways to use music on YouTube without obtaining individual licenses?

Absolutely, you can use music from royalty-free options like Clipchamp or YouTube’s audio library. They give you legal music that doesn’t need a separate license.

What is fair use, and can it apply to music in YouTube videos?

Fair use allows some use of copyrighted material without permission, for purposes like commentary or parody. However, applying it to music in videos is tricky and can lead to legal issues, as it’s often up for debate in court.


  • Patsy Cole

    Hey, I'm Patsy! Obsessed with the world of YouTube, I created this blog to dive deep into video trends, channel growth strategies, and the magic behind viral content. Ready to elevate your YouTube game? You've landed on the right page. Let’s hit that 'Subscribe' button on success together!

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Avatar of Patsy Cole

Hey, I'm Patsy! Obsessed with the world of YouTube, I created this blog to dive deep into video trends, channel growth strategies, and the magic behind viral content. Ready to elevate your YouTube game? You've landed on the right page. Let’s hit that 'Subscribe' button on success together!