YouTube processed 1.5 billion content tag requests in 2021

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YouTube’s latest transparency report reveals that it processed over 1.5 billion Content ID claims in 2021.

YouTube says this number represents 98% of all copyright claims received by YouTube. Most claims are handled automatically, but a few million claims require human intervention. The Transparency Report covers six months of 2021 in two halves, giving us insight into how YouTube’s copyright claims system works.

YouTube applies three basic copyright protections:

  • The DMCA web form that anyone can use to report an infringement.
  • Copyright Match open to channel operators.
  • Content ID finds references to content belonging to rights holders.

TorrentFreak reports approximately 9,000 rightsholders authorized to use the ContentID tool. Despite this, 98% of all copyright claims handled by YouTube are handled through its ContentID system. YouTube says it handled 759,540,199 Content ID complaints in the second half of 2021. That’s slightly more than the previous six months, bringing the total number to more than 1.5 billion in 2021.

Between July 2021 and December 2021, only 4,840 rights holders used the Content ID system. Meanwhile, the publicly available web-based DMCA takedown form was used by 272,815 rights holders during the same period. Nearly 99% of Content ID claims are submitted automatically. In other words, Google’s copyright algorithms discovered a fingerprint resembling that held by a rights holder.

Content ID content is often not deleted; instead, the revenue stream is diverted to the rights holder. But the automated system is also ripe for abuse by rightsholders. Unfortunately, a YouTube creator can’t do much about fraudulent claims. Only 62% of Content ID claims are resolved in favor of the original user.

With YouTube making these stats available in its Transparency Reports, it will be interesting to see how many Content ID requests evolve over the next few years. Will YouTube process 5 million Content ID claims in the next few years? YouTube is building its product suite to appeal to short-form video users who love the TikTok format, which could significantly boost Content ID claims.

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