Youtube - Flagging Frustration

By: Micah Sannan

In 2014, a 30 second commercial spot during the Super Bowl cost right around $4 MILLION  - that's roughly $133k per SECOND. Why do companies pay this??  They will pay because 223 million eyeballs were watching - which means 111.5 million potential customers!

Coke only has to persuade about one-third of those viewers to buy a can - one time - to make their $4 million back. 

So here’s the question: how much is the ad space worth on your video on YouTube?  YouTube reaches more US adults, ages 18-34, than any cable network. But how do you even begin to monitor who obtains the proper licenses and who is breaking copyright law? 

First, lets be clear on “copyright." This term is thrown around often, but many don’t understand it or it’s implications. Simplified definition: The legal RIGHT to print, publish and perform artistic material. 

In 2007, YouTube started dabbling in “contentID” systems in attempt to protect copyright holders and allow them to rightfully monetize their work. This technology sticks a digital fingerprint on a song. When the system recognizes that fingerprint on a video being uploaded -BAM! - it gets flagged and taken down unless the user is the copyright owner or you’ve purchased a license to use that music from the copyright owner. Well - it at least it tries to do this. The bummer - that everyone seems up in flames about - is this technology is new and it’s far from perfect.

What does this mean for you? Even if you DO have permission from the music creator (copyright holder) chances are, this imperfect system will flag your video. It is assuming that you don’t have a license because honestly, most people don’t. However, if you DO have a license you can dispute the claim quite easily (seehttps://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2797454?hl=en ). Is this perfect world scenario? No! In fact, it can be quite annoying. BUT these systems are new and, as with any new technology, still a bit buggy.

 I’m glad I’m not the programmer behind contentID - talk about a beast to slay! My  two cents: give some grace and patience. I’ll bet my bottom dollar this technology will improve. Monitoring copyrights and getting the right people paid for their work will be as easy as 1-2-3 - all in time.