When we like something on the Internet, we love to share it with others. At Pex, we identify the reuploads of content on social media platforms to track how audio and video spread in user-generated content (UGC). Identifying content in uploads – of which there are millions posted every day – does not come without difficulties. Content is often modified by the uploader, or can be shared in very short segments, making it difficult to find and easy to reupload. Because of these challenges, platforms struggle to identify the use of copyrighted content in their creators’ uploads, which can cause rightsholders to go unattributed and unpaid. Proactive rightsholders in turn leverage technology to find uses of their content.
At Pex, we’ve shared data around the use of music on social media in the past, using our advanced identification technology and unique approach to discover over 84% of videos on YouTube contain music. But our technology doesn’t just identify music, it can find all types of audio, including spoken word, which can be used to identify reuploads of comedy recordings or podcast content. Comedy record label 800 Pound Gorilla Media put Pex’s technology to the test to find uses of their artist’s assets.
Chad Daniels is a comedian whose albums have reached the top 10 on the Billboard comedy charts three times and have been streamed more than 700 million times. People clearly like Daniels’ comedy, which means they like to share it, too. But because content identification is such a challenge, even for the largest platforms, it’s incredibly difficult for rightsholders to find or track any uses of their content. To help, Daniels’ label, 800 Pound Gorilla Media, enlisted Pex to find any reuploads of Daniels’ content across social media platforms, so they could protect and monetize Daniels’ work.
800 Pound Gorilla Media supplied Pex with 16 Chad Daniels video assets in the form of URLs. Pex then created digital fingerprints of those assets and compared them against the more than 22 billion assets in its social media database to find any matches. Pex’s market-leading technology can identify matches down to one second of use, despite common distortions or alterations such as pitch or speed changes, mild cropping and rotating, added text, or background noise.
Based on the 16 assets, Pex found just under 300 copies across various social media platforms, with a combined total of 2,977,906 views. Most of the copies were found on YouTube, but were spread across 13 total platforms.
Finding copies of content on YouTube can be lucrative for a label and its artists, since YouTube’s Content ID allows rightsholders to claim those copies and earn advertising revenue from YouTube. Dedicated labels like 800 Pound Gorilla Media often use Pex technology to make sure they are finding and claiming the most copies possible. In this test, we found 133 unclaimed copies on YouTube, each representing a new revenue opportunity and win for the label. In the event the copies can’t be claimed, they can still be reviewed to protect brand safety.
Pex provides in depth information on every identified copy, including its URL, view count, uploader, where the use of copyrighted content occurs, and how much of the original asset was copied. Some labels and artists may not mind if creators use their content on social media, especially if it’s a small use that drives recognition for the content. But oftentimes, entire albums or films can be reuploaded, and that can be damaging to the rightsholder. In this case, several copies did include 100% of the asset, but the majority contained a smaller percentage, with most including 50% or less.
Equipped with this new data, and all the information they need to claim or act on these copies, 800 Pound Gorilla Media can better serve their artists with proper attribution and compensation.
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