Credit Where Credits Due How To Properly Credit Music On You Tube

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Greetings to all music enthusiasts out there! Are you a YouTuber who wants to add background music to your video content? As we all know, adding relevant music to your video content on YouTube can increase engagement and enhance the overall production value. However, many people neglect to credit the musicians for their hard work and creativity. Credit is an essential aspect of using music in your videos, and in this article, we’ll be discussing how to credit music on YouTube correctly. So, let’s dive in!

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with knowledge on how to credit music on YouTube. We’ll be covering the exact steps you need to take to credit the artists, music producers or copyright holders whose music you’ve used in your videos correctly. Whether you’re an aspiring YouTuber or a seasoned content creator, the information we share in this article will help you to abide by the legal requirements and etiquette in the music industry. Be prepared to learn how to give credit where credit is due!

If you’re a YouTuber, you already know the crucial role music plays in improving the user experience of your content. While it’s easy to download music off the internet and add it to your videos, it’s just as important to follow copyright laws and credit the right people. As we all respect the time, effort, and creativity of music artists, it’s equally important to show them respect by giving them the credit they deserve. So, let’s start exploring how to properly credit music on YouTube and how you can become a responsible content creator today.

Understanding the Importance of Properly Crediting Music on YouTube

As a content creator on YouTube, you have probably spent countless hours curating the perfect video content to share with your audience. While your visuals and message may be spot-on, adding music to your video can help enhance the overall experience. However, using music without giving proper attribution to its original creator can lead to issues with piracy and copyright infringement. This is why it is crucial to understand the importance of properly crediting music on YouTube.

Why is Properly Crediting Music on YouTube Important?

Properly crediting music on YouTube is critical for several reasons.

  • Avoiding Copyright Infringement: Music copyright laws are in place to protect the intellectual property of the original creators. Failing to give proper credit to the source can lead to legal actions, which can be time-consuming and costly.
  • Respecting the Artist’s Work: Musicians put in countless hours of hard work, dedication, and creativity into their compositions. By giving them credit, you’re acknowledging them for their work.
  • Building Relationships: Crediting music on your YouTube videos can create better relationships with the original composer and their audience.

The Proper Way of Crediting Music on YouTube

Giving proper credit when using music on your YouTube videos is crucial. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Identify the source of the music: You can do this by researching the artist or the album.
  • Check the Copyright information: Some music may be under Creative Commons or public domain license. In such cases, it will have specific instructions on how to credit the music.
  • Give credits in the video: Include the artist’s name, the name of the song, and any other particular details that the music owner has specified. This can be done by adding the credits in the description box of your video.
  • Provide links to the source: Linking to the original source of the music you used, such as the artist’s website or their YouTube channel, will help redirect your audience to the original content creator.

Pros and Cons of Crediting Music on YouTube Videos

It’s essential to look at the pros and cons when it comes to crediting music on YouTube.

Pros Cons
  • Avoiding legal actions
  • Building a relationship with the original composer and their audience.
  • Showcasing your professionalism.
  • Good for SEO
  • Time-consuming
  • Some artists may not want their music to be used for free, and it may require some investment.
  • It may take away the originality of your content.

Real-World Examples of Properly Crediting Music on YouTube

Many YouTube creators have had success in giving credit to the original music creators.

  • David Dobrik: A popular vlog creator who consistently credits the music he uses in his videos.
  • Casey Neistat: A renowned filmmaker who is known for using different kinds of music in his videos. He credits every piece of music in his work.
  • Peter McKinnon: A travel and photography vlogger who gives credits to the composer every time he uses music in his videos.

In conclusion, properly crediting music on YouTube is not only beneficial to the original composer, but it also protects the creator from any legal action. Following the artist’s specific instructions, adding credits, and including links to the original source can help build a respectful and healthy relationship with the audience and original music creator.

Why it’s Important to Give Credit to Musicians on YouTube

Music is an essential element of YouTube, and many users add music to their videos to make them more engaging and attractive. However, not many people know that all music that isn’t their original creation needs proper credit to be used legally. Crediting musicians is a necessary and respectful process that shows appreciation for their creative work, protects their rights, and builds a trusted relationship between the creator, musician, and the audience. In this section, we will explore precisely why it is so crucial to give credit to musicians on YouTube.

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Legal and Ethical Requirements

Adding music to your YouTube video without proper permission or accreditation is a violation of copyright law. Copyright law protects the original creator’s rights, and using their music without permission is an illegal act. Failing to give credit to a musician is not only illegal but also violates ethical standards. By not giving credit to the creator, you are not acknowledging their hard work and dedication, and that can discourage them from creating more content in the future.

Building Trust and Respect

Giving proper credit to musicians on your YouTube videos shows your respect for their creation and builds trust between the creators and their audience. It makes them feel valued and respected, which can lead to a positive relationship between the two parties. Proper credit also shows that you have done your research and have a good understanding of intellectual property law.

Increase Views and Engagement

Crediting musicians can increase engagement and views on your YouTube videos. When a musician’s music is credited, they can promote your content on their channels and platforms, potentially increasing your reach and getting more exposure. Additionally, viewers are more likely to engage with a video they find credible and informative. Proper credit shows that you put effort into creating your content and choose your sources wisely.

Positive Impact on the Music Industry

Properly crediting musicians can have a positive impact on the music industry. It helps increase the recognition and popularity of artists, leading to more sales and opportunities. Crediting musicians appropriately also helps reduce the incidents of piracy and music theft, preserving the rights of the creators and contributing to a healthy industry.

Comparison Table: Crediting vs. Uncredited Music

Crediting Music Uncredited Music
Legal and Ethical Abides by copyright law and ethical standards Violates copyright law and ethical standards
Building Trust and Respect Shows respect for creators and builds trust between audience and creator Disrespects creators and can damage trust between audience and creator
Increase Views and Engagement Promotes exposure and encourages engagement Potential legal repercussions and less appealing to audience
Positive Impact on the Music Industry Increases recognition, popularity, and revenue for artists Contributes to music piracy and theft

Overall, giving proper credit to musicians on YouTube is crucial for legal and ethical compliance, building trust and respect between creators and audiences, increasing views and engagement, and promoting a healthy music industry. As a content creator, it is essential to do your due diligence and acknowledge the contributions of the musicians whose work you use.

YouTube’s Policies on Music Credit

YouTube is the largest platform in the world that allows creators to showcase their talents to a global audience. Music is a popular element on YouTube, and it is essential to credit the music in videos. YouTube strictly enforces policies regarding music copyright infringement and has a system in place to recognize and monetize videos with copyrighted music. Here are some things to keep in mind when crediting music on YouTube.

1. What are YouTube’s music policies?

YouTube has a set of policies in place to manage copyright on the platform. When a video is uploaded, the system scans the video’s audio elements for copyrighted music. If any copyrighted music is detected in a video, the algorithm automatically flags it.

Creators can either remove the copyrighted music from the video or apply for a license to use it. Music copyright owners can monetize the video or request that YouTube take it down. If the video is flagged for using copyrighted music, the creator will be notified via email, and the video’s performance will be limited. The video may not be visible to some viewers, and the creator may not receive payment for the views or ads.

2. How to credit music on YouTube?

It’s essential to provide proper credit when using music in a video. Here is how you can credit music on YouTube:

  • Title the video: If you’re using a well-known song in your video, it’s best to include the title of the song as part of your video title. For example, “My Day at the Beach – Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey.”

  • Provide a detailed description: In the video’s description, include the song title, artist name, and album, if applicable. Also, add a note clarifying that you do not own the rights to the music.

  • Add a music credit overlay: YouTube provides a feature to add a music credit overlay to your video. This is a short visual way to credit the music that you’re using in your video. To add a music credit overlay to your video, go to the “Creator Studio” and navigate to the “Video Editor” section, then click “Add an Annotation.” Afterward, select “Note” and then “Music Credits.”

3. Pros and Cons of Crediting Music on YouTube

While crediting music on YouTube can be a challenging task, it has its pros and cons. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of crediting music on YouTube:

Pros Cons
  • Following best practices: Crediting music on YouTube follows the best practices of content creation by not infringing on copyrights.

  • Attracting new audiences: Crediting music can help introduce your content to new viewers and attract more audiences.

  • Respect for musicians: Crediting music gives credit where credit is due, showing respect for the artists and music creators.

  • Limited creativity: Crediting music sometimes limits the type of music you can use in your video to avoid copyright issues.

  • Increased workload: Crediting music takes additional time and effort in creating videos, especially when licensing music.

  • Monetization issues: Using copyrighted music in monetized videos can lead to not receiving any financial gain from ads or paid promotions.

If you decide to use music in your videos, it’s essential to credit it correctly. In doing so, you’re following YouTube’s policies, respecting the artists, and potentially attracting new viewers to your channel. With some additional effort, you can ensure your video’s success without running into copyright infringement problems.

Simple Steps to Give Proper Credit to Music on YouTube

YouTube is a household name when it comes to video-sharing platforms. With millions of users uploading and viewing videos on the site daily, it has become a significant community that offers excellent opportunities for creators to showcase their talents. Music plays an integral part in creating entertaining and engaging videos. Therefore, it’s critical to give proper attribution to the artists who create the music that accompanies the videos.

Giving proper credit to music on YouTube is essential for both the music artists and content creators. By giving credit to music artists for their musical works, it provides exposure to their music and gives them the chance to reach a wider audience. It also ensures that content creators do not infringe on copyright laws, which could lead to potential legal suits or demonetization of videos. This article outlines simple steps you can use to give proper credit to music on YouTube.

Step 1: Check the Music’s Licenses

Before using any music in a YouTube video, it’s crucial to verify the music’s licenses. Every piece of music has its own set of licenses, and it’s essential to get the necessary licenses, which determine how you can use the music in your videos. The most common licenses are royalty-free, public domain, Creative Commons, and custom licenses.

  • Royalty-free licenses: These types of licenses permit users to use the music multiple times without paying any royalties. However, they come with certain limitations, such as requiring a one-time fee or limiting the number of views or downloads a video can receive.
  • Public domain licenses: Public domain music is music that is no longer protected by copyright or has been dedicated to the public by the owner. Therefore, it’s free to use by anyone and for any purpose.
  • Creative Commons licenses: Creative Commons licenses offer music artists and content creators more flexibility in sharing their creative works. These licenses allow the user to modify, copy, or distribute a copyrighted work as long as they follow the attribution, non-commercial, or share-alike conditions attached to the license.
  • Custom Licenses: Custom licenses are developed by the music artist to provide specific use restrictions based on their preferences. For instance, a music artist could permit the use of their music for non-commercial purposes only, limit the geographic region for distribution or restrict it to certain video types.
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It’s essential to read and understand the licenses before using any music in your videos. Using unauthorized music in your videos could lead to potential legal actions or demonetization of your videos.

Step 2: Crediting the Music Artist

Crediting the music artist is an important part of giving proper credit to music on YouTube. It shows respect for the artist’s hard work, and it’s a legal requirement.

  • Include the music title and artist name: When using music in your videos, include the music title and the artist name in the video’s description. This allows viewers to know the music’s name and the artist responsible for creating it.
  • Add links to the music: To make it easy for viewers to find and listen to the music, include a link to the music in the description. Creator Studio’s (YouTube’s back-end) Audio library contains a variety of free music with proper licensing, thereby making it easy to find  music to accompany your videos. 
  • Add a mention of the music artist in the video: Another effective way of giving credit to music artists is by adding an acknowledgment in the video. You can mention the artist’s name when the music plays or add a credit screen at the end of the video.

Step 3: Using the YouTube Content ID System

The YouTube Content ID System is a tool that identifies copyrighted works in videos uploaded to the platform. It matches the contents of the video against a database of copyrighted works uploaded by copyright owners.

When the system identifies copyrighted works in your video, the copyright owner can choose to take action with the video, such as only allowing the video to play in specific regions, removing the video or monetizing the video’s ad revenue. To avoid these consequences, content creators can choose to use the Content ID System while uploading a video to identify potential copyright claims that could arise in any uploaded videos.

Step 4: Utilizing YouTube Audio Library

One of the easiest ways of ensuring that you give proper credit to music on YouTube is by using the YouTube Audio Library. The Audio Library is a free resource that provides videos with high-quality music to accompany their videos. It contains a wide variety of music genres, such as classical, rock, jazz, and hip-hop, which creators can use in their videos without worrying about infringing on copyright laws.

The Audio Library allows content creators to:

  • Browse and preview music: Creators can search and preview music tracks to determine which one suits their video best.
  • Download music: Creators can download any music track in the audio library and add it to their video for free.
  • Customize and attribute audio tracks: Creators can modify audio tracks to suit their video, and the audio library automatically generates the proper attribution language to include in the video description.
  • Apply filters to find music faster: The Audio Library also offers various filters, such as duration, attribution type, and genre, making it easier for creators to find the ideal music for their videos.

Pros and Cons of using the YouTube Audio Library

Pros Cons
The Audio Library offers free music with proper licensing to its users. The Audio Library’s selection is not as vast as some other music libraries.
It comes with premade attribution text, which makes it easy for users to credit the music artist. The music tracks in the Audio Library are not exclusive, which means they can be used in different videos, which could reduce the uniqueness of a creator’s content.

In conclusion, giving proper credit to music on YouTube is essential to the platform’s growth and creativity. Following the steps outlined in this article, such as checking the music’s licenses, crediting the music artists, utilizing the YouTube Content ID Systems, and using the YouTube Audio Library, can help creators stay on the right side of the law and avoid potential legal actions.

Best Practices for Crediting Music on Your YouTube Videos

When it comes to using music on your YouTube videos, it is always important to give credit where credit is due. Failing to acknowledge the sources of the music used in your videos can be considered copyright infringement and lead to legal issues, demonetization or even removal of your videos. To avoid such problems, here are some best practices for crediting music on your YouTube videos.

1. Know Your Terms

Before you start using music on YouTube, you should familiarize yourself with some of the terms commonly used in the music industry. This will ensure that you provide accurate and complete credit for the music you use in your videos. Here are some essential terms to know:

  • Composition: Refers to the underlying music that has been written and recorded; this includes melody, harmony, and lyrics.
  • Master: Refers to the final recording of the composition; this includes all the instruments and vocals.
  • Metadata: Refers to the specific details of a track, such as the title, artist, album, and publisher.
  • Creative Commons: Refers to a licensing system that allows creators to give permission for others to use their music or artwork in their projects.

Understanding these terms is crucial in giving credit to the rightful owners of the music used in your videos.

2. Find Royalty-Free Music

Royalty-free music is a type of music that does not require the user to pay royalties or fees for each use. It is important to look for royalty-free music when choosing tracks for your YouTube videos, as this will save you money and prevent any copyright issues. Here are some sources of royalty-free music:

  • YouTube Audio Library: A free source of music and sound effects that can be used in videos without any attribution.
  • Creative Commons: This is a website where artists license their music under Creative Commons, which allows them to grant others permission to use their music for free, with some restrictions.
  • Premium Music Libraries: These are sites where you can purchase licenses for music tracks. Examples include Epidemic Sound, AudioJungle, and PremiumBeat.
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3. Use Proper Attribution

Proper attribution means giving credit to the rightful owner(s) of the music you use in your videos. The type of attribution required will depend on the type of music you are using, but it is usually required to include the following information:

  • The title of the track
  • The artist’s name
  • The name of the album or compilation
  • The year of release
  • The music publisher or licensing company

You should include this information in the video description, as well as in the video itself (usually at the end).

4. Get Permission

If you want to use a specific track in your YouTube video that is not royalty-free, you should seek permission from the rightful owner(s) of the music. This can be done by contacting the publisher or licensing company, the artist themselves, or their management team. In some cases, you may have to pay a license fee to use the track.

5. Consider Hiring a Music Supervisor

Hiring a music supervisor can be helpful, especially if you are creating videos on a regular basis. A music supervisor can help you find the right music for your videos, provide guidance on how to give credit, and ensure that you are not infringing on any copyright laws. Here are some pros and cons of hiring a music supervisor:

Pros Cons
  • Expertise: Music supervisors have in-depth knowledge of licensing and copyright laws.
  • Convenience: They can save you time by handling the music selection and licensing process.
  • Creative input: A music supervisor can help you find the right music to match the tone and message of your videos.
  • Cost: Hiring a music supervisor can be expensive.
  • Lack of control: You may not have complete control over the music selection process.
  • Availability: It may be difficult to find a music supervisor who is available and fits your budget.

If you do decide to hire a music supervisor, be sure to do your research and choose someone who is reputable and experienced.

In summary, giving proper credit for the use of music in your YouTube videos is crucial to avoid copyright infringement and legal issues. By knowing the terms, finding royalty-free music, using proper attribution, and getting permission, you can ensure that you are not violating any copyright laws. Hiring a music supervisor can also be beneficial, though it may come with some drawbacks.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Credit Music on YouTube

How do I give credit to the music artist on YouTube?

You can give credit to the music artist by adding their name and the title of the song in the description box of your video. You can also mention it in your video itself.

Can I use any music on YouTube without crediting the artist?

No, you can’t. It’s important to give credit to the artist before using their music. Otherwise, it can lead to copyright strikes and legal consequences.

What if I don’t know the name of the music artist?

If you don’t know the name of the music artist, you can search for it on YouTube or use a third-party music identification tool like Shazam or Musixmatch to find it.

Do I need permission from the music artist to use their music on YouTube?

Yes, you need permission from the music artist or the copyright holder to use their music on YouTube. You can either purchase a license or use music that is royalty-free or under a Creative Commons license.

Are there any tools available on YouTube to add credits automatically?

Yes, YouTube’s Content ID system automatically detects copyrighted music in your video and adds credits in the video’s description box.

What if I want to use a cover version of a song on YouTube?

If you want to use a cover version of a song, you need to credit the original music artist along with the cover artist in the video’s description box.

Do I need to give credit if I use a short clip of a song?

Yes, you need to give credit even if you use a short clip of a song. The length of the clip doesn’t affect the copyright or the need for credit.

Can I get in trouble for not giving credit to the music artist on YouTube?

Yes, you can get in trouble for not giving credit to the music artist on YouTube. It can lead to copyright strikes, legal consequences, or your video getting taken down by the platform.

What if I use music from a royalty-free library or YouTube Audio Library?

Even if you use music from a royalty-free library or YouTube Audio Library, it’s always a good practice to give credit to the music artist. You can find the credit information in the “Attribution” section in the description box or use the “Credit the Artist” option while downloading the music.

Can I monetize my YouTube video if I use copyrighted music?

You can’t monetize your YouTube video if you use copyrighted music without permission. However, you can monetize your video if you have permission from the music artist or if you use music that is under a Creative Commons license.


In conclusion, giving credit to the music artist is crucial when using their music on YouTube. You can credit the artist in your video’s description box or mention it in your video. It’s also important to obtain permission from the artist and use royalty-free or Creative Commons licensed music when in doubt. By following these guidelines, you can avoid copyright strikes and legal consequences. After reading this article, make sure to credit the music artist while uploading your next YouTube video and stay on the safe side.

Thank you for reading! Check out our other interesting articles on YouTube and video production.