In the vast landscape of digital content creation, YouTube has emerged as a powerhouse platform, enabling countless individuals to share their creativity with the world. One of the most enticing elements of YouTube is its vast music library, offering a wide range of sounds creators can use to enhance their videos.

But utilizing YouTube’s Creator music comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore the pros and cons of YouTube creator music, as well as some alternative options for sourcing music that may better suit aspiring creators.

What is YouTube Creator Music?

YouTube Creator Music refers to a vast library of music tracks and sound effects that are made available to content creators on the YouTube platform. It provides convenient and accessible resources for creators to enhance their videos with background music and other audio elements.

Free Song Licenses

​​Free song licenses are a specific type of licensing that allows music creators to offer their music for free. YouTube Creator Music offers a number of songs for free that you can use. This is sometimes a great option, even with the restrictions for those who are on a shoestring budget. The most common catch here is that some of the songs can not be used for commercial use per the platform's guidelines.  

Paid song licenses are common for big companies to purchase when they want to use a popular song from a well-known artist to boost their ad or content. This is when a licensing agreement is paid through a fee or royalty in exchange for the rights to use that music.  

The available music on YouTube Creator will be set with a price by the owner of the piece. It’s as simple as paying the price to be able to use that specific song. However, the number of subscribers you have may directly impact how much the song costs, and it can only be used in one video.

Revshare Song Licenses

Revshare licenses are short for revenue–sharing licenses. In this agreement, the artist and the group or individual that will be using the music will share any revenue that is generated from its use. The catch is that the revenue is shared for the entire lifespan of the video. The benefit is you don’t have to pay royalties upfront. YouTube Creator Music allows this for those who can’t afford to pay the upfront costs. It’s all performance-based.

How to Use YouTube Creator Music

Now that we understand what different types of options are available to content creators, it’s worth taking a dive into YouTube Creator Music. Content creators can choose to pull music from the content library.

Once you choose a track, you can preview it before making a selection. Each track will have a complete bio giving the name of the song, duration, artist's name, and additional info such as usage restrictions.

After finding the right fit, you can download the track you want to your computer or device. From here, you can use a video editing software of your choice to add the track to your content.

Pros of YouTube Creator Music

Vast Music Library and Diverse Genres

YouTube’s music library offers a wide variety of genres to look into. This helps all types of creators find music that truly fits the content they are working with. When working with limited music options, it can be like fitting a square peg in a round whole. It has the ability to upend a project completely if the music is not there.

Easy Integration with YouTube Videos

YouTube Creator Music works hand in hand with YouTube's Creator Studio or the YouTube Audio Library. This creates direct access for users. Because of this, users don’t have to leave the YouTube platform when trying to find their song.

Community Engagement and Exposure

By using appealing soundtracks and songs in a video is an immediate consumer benefit. It helps set the tone and mood of the video and enhances the user experience. Ultimately by relating emotion to the track or sound you choose, it helps engage the community and expand your exposure. The more they like the sound and how it enhances the video, the more they are going to watch.

Through this platform, YouTube helps dodge any copyright compliance issues that may lead to problematic outcomes. The only thing to be aware of is just how long a license will last. With YouTube Creator, some licenses have an expiry date.  Once the license expires, the terms regarding monetization and visibility can change.

What this means is that you could later receive a copyright claim for a song you had licensed when you published the video. Unfortunately, this may mean needing to renew for additional fees.

Cons of YouTube Creator Music

Now, while YouTube Creator Music may be a solution for many, it also has some legitimate downfalls.

Limited Filtering and Customization Options

YouTube Creator Music has one of the more general systems for filtering what type of genre or mood you are searching for. There is also not much room for customization of the tracks making it overall generic or nothing special for your viewers.

Overused Tracks and Lack of Exclusivity

One of the biggest pitfalls is that you are not the sole user of the track you are looking at. YouTube Creator Music licenses out the same tracks to many creators. This results in the over usage of the tracks and not much separation between your competition. A viewer will have multiple associations with the music rather than just what you create.

The Bigger Your Audience, The More Your License May Cost

When it comes to sharing the revenue, you aren’t rewarded for having a bigger audience. In fact, it may just cost you extra. This is counterintuitive for up-and-coming creators who are trying to help get their name going.

Song License Rules and Restrictions

One downside when using YouTube Creator Music is that you can only use the song one time in one video. Platforms like Track Club allow for multi-use of the song in multiple videos. These kinds of restrictions end up being a costly investment for creators.

Limited or No Monetization Options

This platform does not offer any direct monetization options to creators. This makes it difficult for users on the platform. A step further, it’s limited to who can actually use the platform. To enjoy the program, you have to be a YouTube Partner with at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch partners. Other licensing platforms don’t have these restrictions.

Long-Term Costs

Last but certainly not least are the long-term costs you can acquire by using YouTube Creator Music. The longer the video lasts, and the longer you hold on to those licensing agreements, the more it is going to cost you. Taking down the video would ultimately be the way to stop paying.

YouTube Music Creator Alternatives to Consider

Given the restrictions and drawbacks of YouTube Creator Music it is worth checking out the alternatives.

Online Music Licensing Platforms

Online music licensing platforms, like Track Club, allow for flexibility at affordable subscription prices. Let’s explore the key benefits that differentiate Track Club from YouTube Creator Music.

  • Track Club is the first Certified B Corp player in the game. Which means they are committed to transparent policies. Creators will never be confused about what they are paying for and will never need to worry about copyright issues. YouTube Creator Music isn’t always the most clear on what you can and can’t use the music for.
  • Nothing about Track Club’s music catalog is generic. Embracing the individuality of an artist is the name of the game. When you buy from YouTube Creator Music, you aren’t guaranteed sole use. This means there is not a lot to separate you from other artists. Track Club’s music catalog is meticulously curated and fully customizable.
  • With Track Club, your YouTube music license is good for as long as you maintain your subscription. But YouTube Creator, how long a license lasts can vary, and once the license expires, monetization terms and visibility may change.

Working with Independent Musicians

Not everyone has musical talent, but there is no better partnership than two artists who are trying to get discovered. Piggybacking off of any already established audiences is one way to grow your viewership. It also allows everyone to come to terms that make the most sense for them rather than be dictated by bigger brands.

Self-Composed and Recorded Music

If you have artistic and musical abilities within yourself, then there really is no better option than trying to create your own music. You can double dip into the monetization and take pride in knowing it is your own work. Taking advantage of this when it is a reality for some is imperative.

In Conclusion

It’s clear that YouTube Creator Music offers some benefits for content creators, but it’s also important to acknowledge the limitations and potential drawbacks that come with relying solely on YouTube’s music library.

For creators seeking more control over music licensing, expanded customization options, and a broader range of high-quality tracks, exploring a music licensing platform like Track Club is a logical next step. With their extensive collection of curated music and a user-friendly licensing system, Track Club offers creators the freedom to find the perfect sound that aligns with their unique creative vision.