YouTube’s Content ID System Hits Milestone

    September 16, 2009

YouTube’s Content ID system appears to have caught on in a big way.  This afternoon, a senior product manager stated that over 1,000 content owners now make use of it, and that they’ve provided more than 1 million reference files containing about 100,000 hours’ worth of material.

Content ID is something that, by automatically identifying copyrighted content on YouTube, is supposed to save rights holders the trouble of saying "hey, that video’s ours" every 3.7 seconds.  It was problematic for a while, since it wasn’t thorough enough to satisfy the owners and led to far too many takedowns for YouTube users’ tastes.

But aside from letting everyone know how big Content ID’s gotten, YouTube’s Kyle Harrison wanted to talk about how it’s improved.  New-ish options allow for videos to get dressed up with advertising in one country even if they’re blocked in another.  If rights holders are willing to let people play with clips lasting less than three minutes, that’s a possibility, too.

Harrison concluded his YouTube Biz Blog post promising, "We’ll continue to lead the charge in helping rights holders control their content online, by listening to our partners and developing for them the tools that they need."

And all of this is interesting enough on its own.  A key point, however, is that Harrison’s message seems to mesh well with the idea of Google acquiring Brightcove and taking another shot at monetizing YouTube.