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YouTube
Content ID Handbook
Last updated: 3/14/13

Google Confidential and Proprietary

YouTube Content ID Handbook
WHAT
This handbook is a manual that outlines the concepts behind Content ID and
how to manage Content ID via CMS and the YouTube UI.
HOW TO USE
While the handbook can be read end to end, it is best used to address specific
questions and issues. Skip to a specific section as outlined in the table of
contents on pg 3.
It is highly recommended that every person managing Content ID read Section
1: Intro to Content ID (pgs 4 -11).
QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS
As a part of this effort we are also looking to learn from your experiences with
Content ID and CMS. Please use this form to give comments on this handbook
or the product itself.
Google Confidential and Proprietary

Table of Contents
Section

Topic

Page

1

Intro To Content ID

4

2

Reference Files

11

3

Assets

24

4

Policies

35

5

Claims

57

6

Manual Search (also referred to as Descriptive Search)

70

7

To Do's in CMS

71

8

Reporting

82

9

Additional Resources

89

10

Content ID Checklist

90

Please see the cover page of each section to learn more about the contents.
Google Confidential and Proprietary

Section 1: Introduction to Content ID
Section

Topic

Page

1.1

What is Content ID?

5

1.2

How does Content ID work?

6

1.3

Other Introductory Concepts

9

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1.1 What is Content ID?
Content ID is an automated, scalable system that enables
content owners to identify user uploaded videos which
contain content they own.
YouTube takes partner-provided reference material and uses
it to identify user uploads which match partner's content.
When a match is found, YouTube applies the partner's
preferred policy: to monetize, track, or block the video in
question.

This document will serve as a guide to Content ID as well as
YouTube's Content Management System (CMS), which acts as
the interface partners use to deliver reference material to
Content ID, manage policies, view claimed user videos, and
administer their content.
As indicated in the Table of Contents, we will cover a range of
topics related to the different functional areas of CMS and
Content ID.
Each section will cover the basic conceptual framework for
that topic, associated vocabulary, a general walkthrough of
the relevant features and example(s), as well as the best
practices for partners.
If partners have additional questions not covered in this
document or specific to their usage of CMS/Content ID, they
can reach out to their Account Manager or relevant YouTube
contact. There are also additional resources located at the end
of this document (please see Section 9).

Google Confidential and Proprietary

1.2 How does Content ID work for Users?
This slide shows how this process looks
for users and looks in more detail at the
matching and claiming process.

User uploads a
video clip

Video clip is processed and compared to Content ID database

Match = No

Match = Yes

No Policy is applied to user video

Video is claimed by the Partner, uploader
is notified, and match policy is applied
Policy = “Monetize” or “Track”
User video is monetized with
ads or claimed and tracked

User video is published on
YouTube
Google Confidential and Proprietary

Policy = “Block”
User video is blocked (not
viewable on YouTube)

1.2 How does Content ID work for Partners?
Video Delivery

Ingestion &
Fingerprinting
Identification &
Matching

Partner delivers reference material to YouTube, including:
>> Reference Content (audio, visual, or audiovisual content)
>> Usage and Match Policies (what YouTube should do with the reference material and identified
user uploads. See Section 5 for more information on usage and match policies)
>> Metadata (information which describes the content being delivered)

YouTube auto-generates a fingerprint from the reference material which is used to scan user uploads.

Content ID scans user uploads against the fingerprint and identifies any matches.

Claiming

Any matching videos are automatically claimed and the partner's match policy (monetize, track, or
block) is applied to the matching videos before they are published on YouTube.

Managing &
Monitoring

Partner uses the Content Management System (CMS) to view claims, monitor statistics, and
administer their content.

Google Confidential and Proprietary

1.2 How does Content ID work?
As discussed, Content ID system continuously scans all new uploads to YouTube against our database of partner-provided
reference material to look for matches.
For user uploads which were uploaded to YouTube before a certain piece of reference material was added to the Content ID
database, we also do a "legacy scan" by comparing all previously uploaded user videos to the new fingerprint.
When a new Reference File is delivered to Content ID:

Google Confidential and Proprietary



YouTube scans the archive of all previously uploaded
YouTube videos to identify any potential matches. This
process does take a significant amount of time to
complete, so partners shouldn't alarmed if they don't
immediately see matches appear.



User videos uploaded after the reference file was added
to Content ID will be scanned and claimed before being
published.



While YouTube does not provide a formal estimate for
the timeframe to complete the legacy scan process,
partners can generally expect the legacy scan process to
take up to several months to scan the entire site (scans
across more recent videos may be completed on a much
shorter time frame).

1.3 Other Introductory Concepts: CMS
YouTube's Content Management System (CMS) is the web-based tool partners use to manage Content ID as well as to manage
their content, claims, assets, perform account maintenance, and access various tools and reports. We will discuss different
elements of the interface in the coming sections, but here is a small preview.

2

3

1

1) Items requiring partner
action by the partner
2) Videos claimed by the
partner and assets (intellectual
property) owned by the partner

4
5

3) Reporting and analytics data
on video performance,
earnings, and more
4) Custom policy creation and
modification
5) Bulk update video settings to
bulk claim, modify, or alter
settings for videos or assets

Google Confidential and Proprietary


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