How To Monetize Cover Songs On YouTube Without Copyright (2021)
There are thousands of thousands of opinions on monetizing cover songs on YouTube. And it has stirred up a lot of confusion and argument among musicians today.
Talking of the opinions, some of which are not entirely true in the way they are deceptively presented. Though sometimes not intentional.
That’s why you’re here, right?
More importantly, if you don’t want the original publisher/owner of the song making money off of your cover song, or getting your YouTube account deleted through YouTube content ID, you need to read this article all the way to the end.
The best part?
What I’m about to show you is working now and will continue in 2021 and beyond.
At the end of this post, I’ll show you how to legalize your covers and make money off them without getting any license.
Enough of the talks, let’s hit the highway!
Can I Monetize Cover Songs On YouTube?
Yes! Cover songs can be monetized on YouTube and other digital distribution companies like Spotify and iTunes if you obtain a synchronizations license which is often negotiated with the original publisher of the song you want to cover. It allows the original publisher to share revenue with the cover artiste.
Having said that, there’s an additional license termed “Mechanical License” that would allow you to release and distribute your songs on Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, Tidal, and the likes.
But it can be daunting to get these licenses if you’re just starting out. Especially, if you don’t have enough cash to influence the original creator(s) or obtained a mechanical license through respective agencies.
I recommend sticking to YouTube monetization and avoid digital music distribution because it will require a mechanical license that’s often tough to get.
Not to worry, we will discuss this in detail in the succeeding paragraphs.
Eventually, you upload a cover song on YouTube, there’s a mechanism YouTube uses to track copyrighted covers.
It’s called; “YouTube Content ID”
But how do you know if the cover has been claimed as copyrighted material?
The screenshots is a typical example of copyright material.
Luckily, this article is base on proffering solutions on how to navigate these storms.
What Is Mechanical And Synchronization License And How To Get Them Fast?
I’m kicking things off by understanding key terminologies and how to acquire them so you can start making tons of dollars on YouTube and other digital distribution companies.
As a bonus, I will show you a service that would allow you to cover a song and monetize it on “YouTube” without obtaining any license.
#1 What Is A Mechanical License? How To Obtain it
According to Wikipedia, a mechanical license is a license provided by the holder of the copyright of the composition or music work to another party to cover, reproduce, or sample-specific parts of the original composition.
Let me lift the veil for you…
The above statement means that for you reproduce a song and distribute through digital streaming platforms and make money off it without any copyright strike, you need a mechanical license.
That being said, if you’re just starting out you don’t have to go through that rigorous process. I recommend sticking with YouTube that requires minimal effort to get monetized.
Not to worry, as I’ve said above, at the end of the post I will show you a company that would help you monetize your covers without getting any license.
Why Do You Need A Mechanical License To Get Monetized?
I really don’t recommend staying under the umbrella of a cover artiste. It’s a kind of negative stigma in the industry. What I recommend doing is to release two cover songs then your original.
That way, you’ll build a global reach and get audience retention on YouTube pretty quickly. Audience retention is the major YouTube factor for getting traffic and making revenue off of your hard work.
But if you really want to get a mechanical license, then use the following services.
- Harry Fox Agency
- Easy Song licensing
Make sure to check them out. That brings us to;
#2 What Is Synchronization License
A music synchronization or “sync” for short, is a music license granted by the holder of the copyright of a particular composition, allowing the licensee (Cover artiste) to synchronize music with some visual media output (film, television shows, advertisements, video games, etc.).
Let me explain to you…
If you want to upload cover videos to YouTube, Vimeo, etc… you have to obtain a synchronization license. This license can be obtained directly from the publisher/songwriter through negotiation.
This license can be hard to get. So, what you need to do is look up the artiste’s/record label social media handles. Chat them up. If they don’t reply after some days get their email address.
You can find it by going to their Instagram profile. Then send them an enticing email pitch. Don’t be pushy about it, check out this article to craft emails that people will want to read.
The bottom line is……
You need to exercise patience. It might take earlier or later than expected.
How Long Does It Take To Monetize Cover Songs On YouTube?
To get monetized on YouTube, you need to have more than 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months plus more than 1000 subscribers.
Do You What’s pretty cool about covers?
They garner an audience at the flip of a page because the original song is already trending and making waves.
In my country Nigeria, the artiste/record label might repost your video on their YouTube channel and other social media platforms.
You know why?
It builds credibility for them and increases your followership. That’s it. But in the United States, it might not be the same. Because of its strict policies and terms.
Bonus Tip – How to Monetize Your Cover Songs Without Obtaining Any License
Yes, there’s a company that could help monetized your covers on YouTube without actually going back and forth with licensing or getting copyright strike.
“We Are the Hits” essentially allows you to upload a cover song to YouTube after which you copy the URL and paste it on their tool.
What that essentially means is that you’re telling the record label or artiste partnering with “We Are The Hits” that you’re a certified member of the group (We Are The Hits).
A little caveat here.
First off, not all songs are on “We Are The Hits” which means that not all songs can be monetized through their platform. Except for record labels and artists that are partnering with them.
Interestingly, almost all the popular record labels are on there.
Second off, you might not make as much as envisioned but the end goal is not to make tons of dollars off of people’s songs rather use it as an attractor to get brand awareness and increase your reach.
I highly recommend that you don’t remain under the guise of a cover artiste to make money off of other artists’ hard work. It destroys a brand and removes credibility from you.
On the contrary, you can create two covers then one original song. That way, you won’t cut across as being notoriously intelligent.
Wrapping Up – Cover Songs Monetization On YouTube
That’s all there’s to know about monetizing cover songs on YouTube and through streaming platforms like Spotify, iTunes, etc….
Over to you;
Have you tried out other ways? What has worked for you? Or do you have other lingering questions?
Let’s chat in the comments now.
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