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Posting Cover Songs on YouTube: What Steps Do I Take?

Posting Cover Songs on YouTube: What Steps Do I Take?

Casey Cole

As a musician or artist, posting covers on your YouTube channel is a no-brainer. It is a way to connect with your audience by performing songs they are familiar with, while also showcasing your talent and honing in on a message. There are endless videos of artists performing songs they didn’t write on YouTube.

What to Know About Posting Covers on YouTube

And How to Use Copyrighted Content and Videos

YouTube utilizes Content ID, a system that scans each video that is uploaded to see if any copyrighted material is included. This includes compositions that belong to someone else. So, if you upload a cover song, YouTube’s Content ID system will know that you don’t own the rights to the song. When this happens, YouTube will place a copyright claim on your video, which is the publisher saying “Hey, this is our song.” In most cases, they monetize the video, allow the video to stay on YouTube, and collect the ad revenue that your video generates.

A LOT of publishers use YouTube’s Content ID system, so you might already be familiar with Copyright Claims.

Copyright Claims are different than Copyright Strikes. Strikes are when publishers have your video taken down for using their works without permission. Strikes are what you want to avoid, because after so many of these, your channel can be taken down.

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Monetize Your Video

How to Monetize Your Videos | Money coming from YouTube PrinterWe have contacts at all of the large publishers. 99% of the time, we are able to get them to agree to monetize your video in exchange for permission to post, keeping fees out of the picture and keeping costs as low as possible for you, the artist. This is a great option for smaller artists because there is no fee to post your cover song video.

A few of the Christian catalog publishers like Essential Music and Capitol CMG have minimal fees for use of their compositions. These fees are typically around $25 for every six months you want the video to remain on YouTube. Affordable Song Licensing can happily facilitate requests with any publisher.

When it comes time for you to post a cover video online, feel free to reach out to us at Affordable Song Licensing and ask any questions you may have. We can walk you through any steps you might need to take, and let you know if the publisher of the song you’re releasing typically charges fees.

To learn more about YouTube covers, synchronization licenses, and our services, visit us at

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