So, you want to add your video, content or commercial to YouTube. If you’ve gotten that far, you know that YouTube is an excellent hosting platform, your video is gonna look great and will magically play on any device. Not to mention that they’ll host it, you can embed it on your site and YouTube is a leading search engine.

Good, your video’s going work and should get some eyeballs rolling across it. But before you hit that upload button there are a few things you’ve really got to be aware of and making certain that you are doing the right thing.

This all sounds super obvious but believe me, you’d be surprised at some of the thing’s we’ve seen and had to prevent from happening.

If you came here to read this article, you came to learn more about licensing. It’s your responsibility as a channel owner, content uploader or a brand – to make sure that what you are uploading; you have the right to upload. We’ll talk more about that in a minute but firstly let’s look at YouTube’s own licensing.

As we already established, YouTube’s great and this is not about talking you out of using YouTube. It’s more about making you aware about the agreement that you are entering with them once you upload.

So, your video/content that you worked so hard to create or spent so much or your resource to have made; you retain all of your ownership rights of your content. However, by submitting content to YouTube you grant them license. Those exact terms are; you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicensable and transferable license to use.

Put simply, you are always the owner but once you upload, you introduce YouTube as a licensee. Are they going to run your video in all sorts of other mediums without your blessing? Most likely not. But this matters because you really need to be aware of this fact. Especially when you upload your content; you are hand-on-heart uploading content that you/your brand has the correct usage rights to do so.

Now I’m going to re-frame. YouTube is all the things we’ve touched on throughout this article but it is also a super-moderation tool. Owning the visual content and audio content, or owning the correct usage licenses is paramount. It’s via this platform that you are going to get found out if you are not doing the right thing. You should be behaving in a complaint and ethical way when making and sharing content regardless of where you place it but YouTube has the smarts to look for and flag content.  

If your content is for a business or marketing usage; you’ve got to protect yourself and your business by ensuing that the content you are using in your video is in fact licensed correctly for usage. Read the terms and agreement when acquiring content or work with reputable production teams to ensure that you have the right to use the content where intended.

And there’s no such thing as free content to use in that space. There is if it’s for personal usage but once you are a business or brand – the rules change.