Noah J Nelson on Wednesday, Sep. 25th
An argument can be made that YouTube is Google's most popular product after the core search engine and Gmail. It is certainly the product that it lavishes the most attention on, spending millions of dollars to strengthen the ecosystem for the creators who use the platform.
The production facilities they've opened in Los Angeles and London are the biggest (visible) ticket items in the YouTube catalog, but a project the tech giant launched today might be an even more significant advancement in the democratization of production.
(We’re) launching the the YouTube Audio Library today. Any YouTube creator now has access to more than 150 royalty-free instrumental tracks you can use for free, forever, for any creative purpose (not just YouTube videos). You’ll find a link to the library in your video manager and you can browse the tracks by mood, genre, instrument and duration. The tracks can be downloaded as 320 Kbps MP3 files.
Anyone who has gotten a take-down notice because of a music track knows how much of a pain those can be. The Audio Library joins a host of solutions that amateur and independent producers alike rely upon.
Even we here at Turnstyle often turn to the Free Music Archive to fuel our podcasts. (Podington Bear's work is a personal favorite.) Recording artist Moby recently made a portion of his catalog free to license, and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails has done similar things in the past. That’s just two big names in a sea of artists who have embraced open source audio. This means that Youtube's new library doesn't fundamentally change the landscape of production, but it does lower the barriers to entry for creators.
Not having to go off-site for free tracks can encourage even more creators to start experimenting with the platform. Wrangling all those options can be difficult, after all. As some of the top tier creators on YouTube have begun building their own alternatives, Google is smart to get more people in the door with easier access to resources.
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