What are all these different YouTubes (and is my music earning money there)?

YouTube Content ID song qualifications
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A breakdown of the various YouTube brands and properties.

YouTube has launched (and re-launched) several similar-sounding products over the years, so here’s a quick breakdown of those different services, what they offer, and how they work.

1. YouTube

The free, ad-supported video platform we all know and love.

It’s free to create a channel and publish videos, and it’s free to watch them. Channels that meet the YouTube Partner Program criteria can monetize their videos, and revenue is generated through advertisements and paid subscriber views.

If you’ve uploaded your videos to YouTube, your music is there. If someone else uploaded your music to YouTube, well, your music is probably there, and you’ll be able to earn any associated ad revenue through CD Baby’s YouTube Monetization service.

2. YouTube Premium

A subscription-based, ad-free YouTube experience.

This subscription service ($11.99/month) lets users watch videos without ads, access exclusive content that is only available to subscribers, and get ad-free streaming from YouTube Music.

But okay, what’s YouTube Music?

3. YouTube Music

A music streaming service offering an extensive library of Art Tracks.

YouTube Music pulls together millions of official Art Tracks (videos with high-quality audio and an image of the cover art), music videos, and more. This content is available to free users through ad-supported streaming, available ad-free to YouTube premium subscribers, and as a standalone, ad-free subscription service for $9.99/month.

With CD Baby, we can make sure that Art Tracks for all your songs are included.

Some important things to know about YouTube Music:

  • You can check it out here: https://music.youtube.com/
  • It functions as a music streaming service, like Spotify or Apple Music (it even has its own app for mobile devices)
  • It has music-specific filters that regular YouTube doesn’t have, such as “artist” or “song”
  • It allows users to play music in the background (without keeping a video open) or download for offline listening with the YouTube Music App
  • Content is generally organized by artist name, or in playlists with suggested music based on theme, genre, etc.
  • Artists will get their own “topic channel” or be placed in genre-specific “various artist” channels
  • When art tracks delivered by CD Baby are streamed, YouTube pays on a per-stream basis (just like Spotify or Apple), even if your channel doesn’t meet the Partner Program guidelines.

4. YouTube Red

This is now YouTube Premium.

Scrub the name “YouTube Red” from your memory.

5. YouTube Remix

This is not a thing. At least not yet.

It’s the name that was floating out there in the rumor mill when YouTube Music was about to re-launch. The same rumor mill is also predicting that YouTube Music and Google Play will eventually merge into one product: YouTube Remix. Until there’s further info, treat this all as… rumor. But know that whatever happens, CD Baby will be there to make sure your music is represented properly.

6. YouTube Creators

An informational community for YouTubers.

YouTube Creators is a place for news about platform changes, opportunities, best-practices, and more.

7. YouTube Creator Academy

An educational resource for video creators.

Learn about video techniques, channel optimization, and more through online tutorials and videos. Technically, the Creator Academy lives within YouTube Creators — but I figured they’re worth mentioning separately as people still talk about them as separate properties.

8. Google Play/Google Play Music

Google’s streaming music service.

This streaming service offers both ad-supported and subscription-based access to high quality audio tracks. For now, this is still a thing, and the subscription cost $9.99. If you’re using CD Baby, your music is probably already there!

9. YouTube Content ID

YouTube’s system for identifying and monetizing intellectual property on its platform.

CD Baby has partnered with YouTube to put their Content ID system to use on behalf of our clients. Watch the video below to see how it can work for YOUR music:


Make money from your music on YouTube today.

With CD Baby, your music can earn ad revenue AND subscription revenue from YouTube.

Get started today.

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