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YouTube pays $2bn to content owners

News, 14 July 2016

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: Google, the online media giant, has updated its anti-piracy policy, revealing that YouTube alone has delivered $2bn to copyright holders via its Content ID management system.

Coming at a time when the Google-owned video-sharing platform faces calls to pay out more in licensing negotiations, the statement sought to highlight the company's efforts to protect intellectual property rights.

"We take protecting creativity online seriously, and we're doing more to help battle copyright-infringing activity than ever before," said Katie Oyama, Senior Policy Counsel at Google.

She explained that more than 98% of copyright management on YouTube now occurs through Content ID, the system whereby copyright owners can notify Google if their content is being shown on YouTube.

They can either choose to remove the content or keep it on YouTube to generate advertising revenue, and Oyama said that "well over 90% of all Content ID claims across the platform result in monetisation".

In addition, 95% of music owners choose to leave their content on the platform, she said, adding that half of the music industry's YouTube revenue comes from fan content claimed via Content ID.

In total, across all its platforms, Google Play is reported to have paid out more than $7bn to developers while YouTube has paid out more than $3bn to the music industry.

Another aspect of Google's anti-piracy initiative involves filtering search results, according to Oyama, who said the "vast majority" of media-related queries submitted every day return results that include links only to legitimate sites.

Her statement went on to emphasise Google's efforts to cut out rogue sites from its advertising services.

"Rogue sites that specialise in online piracy are commercial ventures, which means that one effective way to combat them is to cut off their money supply," she said.

"As a global leader in online advertising, Google is committed to rooting out and ejecting rogue sites from our advertising services."

Data sourced from Google; additional content by Warc staff