Can you monetize lyrics video on YouTube?

Using popular music in YouTube videos will probably lead to deleting the video and possibly channel if this isn’t the first strike.
However, I’ve seen numerous videos where people make lyric videos out of these popular songs and some of these videos account to over 100 million views.
is there a proper way to make and monetize lyric video, contacting the song owners or labels or just put a credit in description?

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No. Not a single solution to it. There are two things in such videos: Audio Content and Visual Content. You can’t violate Audio Rights. So, whatever you do, you can’t use it. And Song Owners don’t have the Copyright Rights most of the time. Only Companies have and they will have even after Artists Death.

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this video got to more than 1M. my balance in adsense went to 320$ but then it got deleted. but the money is mine. i got a copyright strike tho, after 0 months it’s gone.
It’s definitly a gamble but i think it’s worth it.

Wdym your balance went to 320 and then got deleted?

no. the money i earned when video was still monetized was still there ,even after the owner flagged my video and then youtube had to take it down.
but i had 320$ on my adsense anyway !

Couldn’t you claim it to be fair use? I think it would have enough of your own input if you make the lyric video creative to be considered fair use

How about changing the audio waveform for several decibels?
I have seen that in one tutorial on youtube, will that help?

unfortunately ,it doesn’t work like that. like @Hussey said. You can’t violate Audio Rights.

No you can’t legally make any money off of lyrics videos unless you have licensing and distribution rights to the song, which requires the record label’s approval and is virtually impossible to get unless you are a label yourself and have contacts. Sometimes certain songs will slip through the system, but usually they get caught in a matter of time.

I once created a lyrics channel. It had 90k subs and got terminated within a year while it had 0 copyright strikes on it, just a ton of 3rd party claims. When creating lyrics channels, you are essentially a ticking time bomb until you upload the wrong artists song and you get terminated. The only way to survive is to work directly with smaller soundcloud artists as a means of promotion, but even then you need a following to leverage negotiations. As well, if a soundcloud artist gets picked up by a label, be prepared to have your YouTube account purged.

In my opinion it is not worth the time or effort at all, but that is just based on my experience. If you talked with Mike from Monstercat or Andre from Trap Nation you would have differing opinions, however they did it properly with licensing and distribution, working with small artists, and they both got in very early.

So essentially, stay away from uploading music unless you want to risk termination?

Pretty much. Based on my limited experience, I will most likely never go back into the mainstream music niche on YouTube unless I am forking out $25,000+ and creating a record label, but the return on investment isn’t there. When doing it right, you have to sign small Soundcloud artists and bank on them blowing up under you. Problem is, why would any artist sign with you compared to a more established label, or even better, a cheap distributor like CDBaby or RePostNetwork. If you don’t sign them, and they blow up, a record label will sign them and destroy your channel in the process.

It is definitely possible to make it work if you want to make a quick buck, but it isn’t easy. The reality is that you are most likely going to get terminated eventually and have to start all over. Whether that is within 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years, it will happen. If that is something you don’t care about, then all the power to you. Many people see YouTube as an opportunity to make a quick buck, which it can be. But the real money is from doing it legit, and if you are trying to make a quick buck you are going to get beat out by people doing it legit 99/100 times over a 3 to 5 years period when you have to start all over and they are trucking along.

Like Nova said, it is possible to adjust the waveform by multiple semitones to temporarily bypass the automated copyright system, but if your video gains any decent traction it will get manually flagged. Plus, viewers usually hate when the song is altered and off pitch, and therefore they usually aren’t going to subscribe to you and come back.


Such a decent opinion.

Hello, I wanted to know what exactly makes your 90k channel terminated with 0 strikes while there are many other more popular lyrics channel that still exist till this day.

Also, is there any lyrics channel that are accepted to be part of Youtube Partner Program? If no, what rlly makes them still uploading videos? (Like dopelyrics, Unique Vibes, etc.)

Thanks in advance.

I uploaded a lyric video from an artist that got picked up by 88rising. 88rising then tookdown my channel without ever applying a 3rd party copyright claim. I had a few other lyric videos that were fine (although 3rd party copyright claimed). I think that most lyric channels, although may be in the YPP, are just completely 3rd party copyright claimed on essentially all of their videos.

In my opinion, although risky and fairly unreliable with a low chance of success, I’ve seen lyric channels build a following of 200k+ and then delete and pivot into a record label style channel. Views drop tremendously, but with massive hard work, there is a chance of it working.

With that said, business-wise, there is a lot better niches than music in my opinion. Music has short watch time due to the songs being restricted in time, so there is no mid-roll ads. This means that a video with 1mill views may have 400k advert plays. Compared to a channel with mid-roll ads which can get 1.2mill advert plays on 1mill views. Music is also commonly viewed by 3rd world countries with lower advertiser payout. So you will most likely see $0.25 to $1.5 CPM on a music channel on any videos that are paying out. Compare that to a car channel, for example, which can push $10 to $20 CPM, it just doesn’t make sense unless you are only in it for fun.

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88 Rising? Welp, I got some of their lyrics video in my channel and also planning on making a new video of NIKI full album next week. Hope they didn’t do anything to my channel just like what have been before.

Also, is it possible to like changing brand or not litteraly changing but adding a new brand like making a Gaming channel with same name just add “gaming”. Hopefully some of my subscribers that also into gaming interested to it. What do you think, is it worth the time?

Thanks again in advance.

message me, I have a functioning solution for this ready by next year.

PM me

@Fuelup Hi Brandon thank you for providing good info on the topic. I would like to ask you few things. Since the payout on music is less due to the ad counts any one pursuing it have to go and hit really huge numbers (which is possible in music business).

I wanted to know How about you take one of these lyric music channels and turn it into a record label and yes would only do it when have promising artists on board.

Don’t you think it would be better to have a good audience in hand to put the artist work in front (as it will save lot of youtube advert money)

After acquiring the channel only focusing on originals (In this case having good artist on board with good no. of original songs).

Please share your thoughts on it, it would really helpful. In such case what sort of lyric channel should be picked and most importantly what are the pros n cons.

Awaiting for your reply.

Thanks in advance.

Best Regards,

You should’ve sign your channel with an MCN. They would never cut you like that if you were with MCN. I work with about 30+ YT Channels and all signed with MCN. Works perfectly but yes, you need to be a record label and do your own music.