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You Can Freely Use (Most) Copyrighted Music With YouTube Shorts

YouTube shorts bring back the fun (and the music)

By Scott ChristensonPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 3 min read

As someone who faced numerous frightening YouTube copyright strikes and takedown notices over the year for using pop songs in my videos, I was astounded to discover that what was once forbidden is now fully permissible and even endorsed in YouTube Shorts videos.

As YouTube aims to rival TikTok by introducing its licensed music library, creators now have access to nearly the entirety of YouTube’s music collection to unleash their creativity within the Shorts format.

What you can do:

1. Create your own TikTok style videos

Using the YouTube App on your mobile device, search for songs that have a “remix” button beneath them. Then turn the camera on yourself and record yourself vibing, dancing, or just talking over the music.

2. Mix your own videos using copyrighted music

Download an mp3 or mp4 from YouTube, or use a screen capture. With your favorite Video Editor (I use the free version of HitFilm Express), remix your own video.

Upon uploading, YouTube will quickly tell you if the music is permissible to use through their Content ID system.

YouTube Short Specifications

  • Duration of 59 seconds or less.
  • 9:16 aspect ratio, for example, 900 pixels wide and 1600 pixels tall. The default video recording on an iPhone typically matches this ratio.

Hamsters x the Succession Soundtrack

Our new hamster is a cute little guy. He likes to eat, play, and occasionally bite. Using the right music amplifies the emotional intensity of everything he does!

A comic short using the Succession Theme:

I have posted videos of “Hammy” with background music that includes:

  • Murder On The Dancefloor — Sophie Ellis-Bextor
  • Señorita — Song by Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes
  • Bad Habits — Ed Sheeran

And many more, all identified by Content ID, without receiving copyright strikes!

YouTube Shorts (with music you will recongize) from a few other creators today:

Good luck and happy content creation!


Update - Hammy's Short today:

Advice from AI on how to use the shorts format

How to Use YouTube Shorts Effectively:

  • Capture Attention Quickly: Given the short duration of Shorts, it’s crucial to grab viewers’ attention within the first few seconds. Start with an engaging hook or visually appealing content to entice viewers to keep watching.
  • Keep it Concise: Since Shorts are limited to 60 seconds, focus on delivering your message succinctly. Keep your content concise and to the point to maintain viewer engagement.
  • Utilize Trends and Challenges: Stay updated on the latest trends and challenges within the YouTube Shorts community. Participating in popular challenges or creating content around trending topics can help boost visibility and engagement.
  • Engage with Viewers: Encourage viewers to like, comment, and share your Shorts. Interaction with your audience can help increase engagement and build a loyal following.
  • Consistent Posting: Regularly upload Shorts to stay relevant and engage with your audience consistently. Consistency in posting can help grow your channel and attract more viewers.

Some of the most popular YouTube Short content creators include:

  • MrBeast: MrBeast is one of the most popular YouTubers in the world, and his Shorts channel is no exception. He is known for his elaborate stunts and challenges, which often involve giving away large sums of money.
  • Charli D'Amelio: Charli D'Amelio is a TikTok star who has also found success on YouTube Shorts. She is known for her dance videos and collaborations with other popular creators.
  • Addison Rae: Addison Rae is another TikTok star who has made a successful transition to YouTube Shorts. She is known for her beauty and fashion videos, as well as her collaborations with other popular creators.
  • Khaby Lame: Khaby Lame is a Senegalese-Italian TikTok star who has become known for his reaction videos. He often pokes fun at overly complicated life hacks and other videos, and his Shorts channel has quickly gained popularity.
  • Bella Poarch: Bella Poarch is a Filipino-American TikTok star who is known for her lip-sync videos. She has also found success on YouTube Shorts, where she often posts behind-the-scenes content and other vlogs.

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About the Creator

Scott Christenson

Born and raised in Milwaukee WI, living in Hong Kong. Hoping to share some of my experiences w short story & non-fiction writing. Have a few shortlisted on Reedsy:


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Comments (4)

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  • Scott Christenson (Author)4 months ago

    What Hammy gets up to in a few minutes out of the cage: https://youtube.com/shorts/W9cOM2E6kKQ

  • Sid Aaron Hirji4 months ago

    interesting. I love that hamster

  • Oh nooooo, Hammy fell!!!! And you gave us a replay in slow motion as well, lol! That Google Maps video was awesomeeee! Hahahahahhaa. Also, thank you so much for posting this because I didn't know that we now can use every music there is on YouTube!

  • Kodah4 months ago

    I wish someone showed me this piece back when I used to make yt vids!! 😂 Had to wait a decade for this all of this to happen 😑😂 ❤️ Loved your piece! ❤️

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