The YouTuber’s Guide to Music and Self-Preservation


It’s hard not to feel like a drop in the ocean as a YouTuber. Even if you put aside the idea of reaching the heights of YouTube’s Mount Olympus alongside the likes of PewDiePie and DudePerfect, the competition can seem endless – and, in many ways, it is. That’s no reason to be discouraged, though. The formula for a successful YouTube channel really boils down to a lot of dedicated work mixed with a little luck, so why not take charge while you’re waiting for that big break?

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The easiest place to start: rev up your music

So many of the keys to producing great YouTube content are entirely dependent on exactly what type of content it is you’re producing. What makes for a sleek gaming video is different than what makes for an immersive travel vlog; the finer points of a well-refined cooking tutorial are a far cry from the in-your-face energy of a trick shot compilation. And yet, there is a common thread. Aside from maybe ASMR videos of someone making clicking sounds in your ear, you’d be hard pressed to find successful content that doesn’t use music to enhance the viewing experience and augment its professionality.

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What does being the first production car to go 300 mph have to do with music? Plenty. Just pay attention to how much a simple touch of piano and orchestra adds to the gravity and ambience of an already high-stakes situation. You don’t need to be driving a Bugatti to lend the same sense of significance to your own videos.

Unbox Therapy is one of the best examples of the power of perfecting a specific niche. It’s also a great example of how incredibly potent music is at keeping up the pace of a video. Sure, the headphones are cool, yes, he’s an engaging speaker, but without the music, things would undoubtedly start to feel more monotonous – a problem that afflicts tons of smaller YouTubers.

It’s just a prank, bro. Comedy can be one of the toughest genres to work in, since succeeding means eliciting one particular response from your audience: laughter. This video from ThatWasEpic highlights how music can drastically lighten the mood of your video and prime viewers for a laugh before you even drop the punchline.

Big brother is watching

These examples should give you a quick idea of just how effective music is at improving YouTube videos of all shapes and sizes, as well as what it can do for your own content. Perk your ears up next time you’re watching your own favorite channels, and you’re bound to notice even more.

Since we’ve talked about how music can make your channel, let’s talk about how it can just as easily break it. While there are always potential consequences to using unlicensed music in any capacity, YouTube is not a place where you’ll be able to sneak under the radar. Here’s why:

YouTube’s Content ID System is a marvel of modern technology. Seriously, it’s a behemoth, and it’s sole purpose is to catch copyright infringers. With this incredibly advanced automated system, YouTube has managed to pay over $2 Billion to 9,000+ partners due to 800 million videos that illegally used any of the 75 million protected works in the Content ID database. If the risk of winding up on the wrong end of this machine isn’t enough to give you a headache, those numbers certainly will. If you end up becoming a part of those statistics, you could:

  • Have your video monetized by the copyright holder. That means your video will be used to generate sweet, sweet ad revenue, but only for the company who owns the music you illicitly included. Where do you think that $2 Billion figure came from?
  • Have monetization of the video disabled altogether. A sort of “screw you” for your troubles.
  • Have your video blocked from being viewed. If the copyright holder is in a particularly mean mood, or if the inclination simply strikes, they have the ability to block the offending video altogether.

Major rights holders can take copyright claims into their own hands. The big news as of late is that YouTube is preventing copyright owners from using their manual claiming tool to monetize videos that include “very short or unintentional uses of music”. Unfortunately, that definition is conveniently ambiguous, and this change has no effect on the automated Content ID System, or on the rights holder’s ability to prevent monetization altogether or block a video using the manual claiming tool.

These are slaps on the wrist compared to a DMCA takedown. If, for whatever reason, a copyright holder decides to enact a DMCA takedown notice on your video, rather than go through these channels offered by YouTube, losing monetization and having the video removed is the least of your concerns. A takedown like this results in a strike on your account – rack up a few of those, and your channel can be disabled permanently.

Don’t worry, be happy (with awesome music)

So, the question becomes: how can creators leverage all of the benefits that music brings to the table without putting ad revenue, views, and the very fate of their channel at stake? Easy. Royalty free music.

With royalty free music, the price of a subscription earns you:

  • Access to a massive library of music spanning every genre and mood you can think of for any application in any kind of video.
  • Peace of mind down the line. Once you license a track to use in your video, you’re in the clear, even if you eventually decide to end your subscription.
  • Protection from the three-headed Content ID System monster. If you can find exactly the great music you’re looking for entirely on the up and up, why lose sleep wondering if there’s a copyright strike hiding in the closet?

It just so happens that we know of a killer platform that makes finding music the easiest part of your creative process. is a labor of love – the product of years of passion and know-how rolled into one easy, intuitive experience. We’re here to bring outstanding music to outstanding creators, so that great videos become amazing without a single worry about licensing rights.

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Get in on the fun at Jambox; it’s a huge investment in your YouTube channel for a small price, and we’re always here to help.

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