YouTube Shorts

How To Use Music In YouTube Shorts

Vukasin Ilic 4 min read
How To Use Music In YouTube Shorts

In the latest battle between YouTube and TikTok, we are witnessing major changes that will benefit all creators on YouTube.

YouTube now allows creators to add up to 60 seconds of music to their YouTube Shorts, as opposed to the 15 seconds, which was YouTube’s policy before this latest update.

YouTube is hoping that this benefit will further stimulate creators and users to create and watch short-form content on their platform.

Given that TikTok is struggling to secure as many agreements with record labels, this YouTube punch may prove to be very effective.

Our goal with this guide is to show you how you can use music in your YouTube Shorts videos, and explain to you how this process works exactly.

How To Use Music In YouTube Shorts

Let’s jump right into it. If you are interested in simply learning how to add music to YouTube Shorts, you can jump to that section using the TOC on the right-hand side.

In this section, we will teach you how YouTube Music rights work, and show you how you can select specific songs you want to add to your video.

YouTube Creator Music

This is a new tool that’s been recently introduced on YouTube. It allows you to obtain the rights to copyrighted music by:

  • Paying for the song license fee in advance - For 1 upfront fee, you will not receive any copyright strikes by using that specific song in your video.
  • Sharing the revenue - Instead of paying an upfront fee in advance, you will be sharing the revenue from your video. The ad revenue share between you and the music owner is 50%-50%.

It’s hard to estimate, on a video-per-video basis, which option seems better.

One way to look at this is if you are a large-time creator, you are more likely to get tons of views, meaning a more considerable amount of revenue.

In such a case, you’d be better off paying just the licensing fee in advance, without sharing 50% of everything you earned.

If, however, you are a new creator, shelling out the money for a licensing fee, without having an idea if your video is even going to receive views, makes very little sense.

Depending on the type of content you are producing, you can also use outside sources of music, and pay a monthly or yearly subscription to use a plethora of audio soundtracks for your short-form and long-form videos.

Epidemic Sound

The most popular and reliable source of music for your content is Epidemic Sound.

It has a library of 35,000 songs and 90,000 sound effects, available to you for a very affordable monthly fee.

Epidemic Sound is going to be a perfect choice for many YouTube creators, especially the ones just starting out.

Aside from affordability, Epidemic Sound offers direct license, meaning their library of tracks and effects can be used in all of your videos, on any platform.

This gives you a chance to repurpose content far more easily, which isn't always the case with YouTube licensing fees.

Can You Monetize YouTube Shorts With Copyrighted Music?

Yes, as mentioned above, if you pay a licensing fee for a song, you are entitled to keep 100% of your revenue from YouTube Shorts. That is, of course, after YouTube takes its hefty 55% of ad revenue you initially generated.

On the other hand, you can split it two ways with the song owner, if you do not wish to pay an upfront fee.

If this may seem like a lot - it’s because it is. Once YouTube takes more than 50% of your earnings, another 50% will be taken by the record label that owns the song.

As to how much money you can earn with YouTube Shorts, and whether it’s profitable for you to invest time and money in content production, make sure you read our guide on it.

YouTube Shorts With Remixed Content

Another amazing feature that YouTube has introduced is the ability to remix the content of another YouTube Short video with your own.

YouTube now allows you to directly take audio or video content as a sample you can include in your video. The attribution to the original video will be provided on your video, however.

You will also not be eligible to monetize this video, but it can be a great way to piggyback off of someone else’s existing audience.

At the moment of writing this guide, you can only create YouTube Shorts remixes using iPhone & iPad but the feature is coming on Android very quickly.

How To Add Copyrighted Music To Your YouTube Short Video

Let’s do a quick recap first. To create a YouTube Short, you can now use:

  • A song from YouTube’s library, by paying the license fee or sharing the revenue with the song owner.
  • An audio track from other Shorts or long-form videos using the Remix feature.
  • A video segment from other videos on YouTube.

Keep in mind that not all songs and videos are available to be added to your video, either as an audio or a remix.

Which ones you can add will depend on the privacy settings of the specific content and whether copyright owners made their content available to YouTube’s platform.

To add music to your video from the YouTube library, you need to tap the “+” icon in your YouTube mobile app and enter an audio track from a library.

How Can Music Producers Leverage YouTube Shorts

If you are someone who produces music, you can try promoting it using YouTube Shorts. If you have a new track, you can try creating short videos with your music.

If the video does go viral, then your music is going to be heard by a ton of new people, along with other creators. That could eventually lead to other creators using your music, which leads to:

  • Revenue for your music production.
  • Exposure to a new audience.

Keep in mind that YouTube Shorts are focused on the visual aspect more than audio, at least to capture attention. It doesn’t matter how good your track is if your video is not engaging enough for people to watch it, like it, and share it.

Finding A Sound For Your Video Has Never Been Easier

With the plethora of options from YouTube Creator Music and third-party sources like Epidemic Sound, you can find the perfect audio for your next YouTube Shorts.

YouTube is also rolling out YouTube Shorts for TV screens, along with a Shopping feature for U.S. creators.

With these latest additions, you can bet that Shorts are going to keep getting more popular


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