Digital Fingerprints: A Content ID Story

Marketing and Business Tips
Jun 22, 2021

Let’s play a game. I am going to describe a 21st Century technological invention by asking you questions and I want you to see if you can figure out what I am talking about. First, what if I told you there was technology that, if attached to your song, could help you track every time your music was used in someone's video? Then, what if I told you that technology would also allow you to generate Ad Revenue every time your music was played in someone’s video? Next, what if I told you that this technology has paid out $2 Billion Dollars in revenue? Lastly, what if I told you that this technology is as simple as taking a fingerprint of your music? Would you have guessed that I was talking about YouTube’s Content ID? If so, great job! If not, it’s okay, we got you covered. Let’s dig into the background on Content ID.


According to Findlaw, The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) established a fingerprint repository through its Identification Division beginning in 1924. This repository held fingerprint cards in a central location. Over the next 50 years the FBI processed more than 200 million fingerprint cards. Who would have thought that this same concept would be the catalyst that now protects the creations of intellectual property owners all around the World. As music consumption and distribution continues to grow faster than ever, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make sure owners of intellectual property are being justly compensated.

What is Content ID?

In 2007, YouTube launched a service called Content ID. According to YouTube, Content ID was created so that copyright owners could easily identify and manage their content on YouTube. First, a copyright owner’s intellectual property is scanned against a database of files that have been submitted to by other Content owners. Then, Content ID  allows copyright owners to decide what happens when content in a video on YouTube matches a work they own. Finally, when a match is found, the video gets a Content ID claim. There are over 720,000 hours of video uploaded to the YouTube Platform everyday. However, Content ID attaches a digital fingerprint to each piece of Content to ensure that intellectual property owners can identify, organize, manage, and monetize their works.

The Power of YouTube Content ID

According to YouTube there are about 2 Billion Monthly active users on the YouTube platform. Moreover, YouTube has paid out over $2 billion to partners who have chosen to monetise their claims using Content ID in the past five years alone. With over 9,000 partners using Content ID, 800 million videos claimed since Content ID was implemented, and over 75 million active reference files in the Content ID database, Content ID is the most powerful digital rights management tool in the world. 

How Can BeatStars Help Monetize through Content ID?

No matter what type of content you create for distribution, it is very important that all of your individual creations have a digital fingerprint. Creation of that digital fingerprint allows you to run ads against matched material and share revenue with the uploader. BeatStars Distribution has created the technology to help you earn royalties from YouTube and over 30+ download and streaming platforms. Furthermore, when songs are onboarded via BeatStars' Publishing Portal, they also go through the process of being onboarded to Sony’s Publishing CMS on Youtube. These songs are scanned and we are allowed to claim ownership and monetise your intellectual property that point forward. All you have to do  is follow these simple steps here and get your digital fingerprint today.

Establish Your Digital Fingerprint Today

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Kyle Brown
Junior Legal Assistant @ BeatStars

Kyle Brown is an Attorney at Beatstars and a lover of everything music, law, and travel.