So you just finished the final cut for your awesome, new YouTube video.

But, you’re missing something and it hits you like a ton of bricks. MUSIC!

When it comes to content on YouTube and other sites, licensing music can be a major headache. Your video is most likely your own intellectual property, but if the music is someone else’s, you will need permission to use it.

You don’t have to look far to see examples of copyright infringement on YouTube, as the rules around music licensing are still relatively unknown. Just recently, FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, somewhat ironically had a YouTube video pulled down for his unauthorized use of ‘Harlem Shake’ by the artist Baauer.

Do I have to license music for every video I make?

No, you don’t always have to. You are free to use any track you like if your video is for private use only (e.g. friends and family) and is not monetized. A license is not necessary for this scenario as these videos aren’t public and therefore not utilized for profit.

How do I avoid my video getting pulled?

If your video is intended for public consumption and is monetized or sold, you will need to license each track used. If you do not and are flagged for copyright violation, your video will be pulled from YouTube. Even if you avoid being flagged, this does not mean the music in your video is cleared for use. Worse still, if you end up making a ton of money from the video as is, you risk litigation from the music rightsholders, which can be expensive and damaging.

In the end, ensure you license music intended for monetized use on your video. Licensing a track is safer and usually a fraction of the cost of a copyright lawsuit!

Where does Songtradr come in?

Okay, so you’re probably thinking it’s all a bit overwhelming. Where do you find that perfect song, how does licensing work and how much should you pay?

Songtradr has an extensive catalog of tracks available for licensing. Use our intuitive search or curated playlists to pinpoint the right song or reach out to one of our music specialists. No headaches over copyright clearance, no worries about getting your video pulled. Fast, easy, affordable music licensing.

Get the right music for your YouTube video


Kyle Warner

Music lover, writer, content creator. Here for all of your music needs.


spansy · February 21, 2018 at 12:04 am

How do I monetize and license my videos on YouTube?

Brad Majors · February 22, 2018 at 7:55 pm

Good info Mr. Warner, very to the point. Thank you and Songtradr for the support .

Louis · October 9, 2018 at 6:20 pm

so, what if I’m just listening to music in my shop and making how-to videos? Like, I’m just working and talking and I have the stereo playing in the background? Do I have to / how would I license that?

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