If you use video to share information for your work, hobbies, or just to share what’s on your mind, you probably have used YouTube. The problem is that once you upload a video to the Web, anyone can access it, and some dishonest users may decide they want to claim it as their own. There’s really no way to track who is using your videos or make it stop. An effective way to avoid others stealing your videos and protect your legal rights as the creator is to add a watermark to your YouTube videos.
YouTube’s Branding Tool
YouTube has an online tool, “Branding,” that allows you to attach that logo in the form of a watermark to your videos. When they play, your logo will be clearly visible.
To use their branding tool, use a desktop computer or load the desktop version on your mobile phone.
1. Open your browser.
2. Go to YouTube.com.
3. Click on the “Sign In” button, which can be found on the top-right corner of the page, and log in to your YouTube account.
4. Find your account image circle at the top-right corner of the page and click on it.
5. Click “YouTube Studio.”
6. Click Settings in the bottom-left corner of the YouTube Studio page.
7. In the settings window that appears, click Channel.
8. Click the Branding tab.
9. Click “Choose image.”
10. Choose an image file from your computer. It must be square, at least 150×150 pixels, and less than 1MB in size.
11. Click the radio button next to the time you want the watermark displayed on the video. You can display it during the entire video, at the end of the video, or at a custom start time.
12. Click “Save.”
Play one of your videos to check the watermark. You will have to open it in the browser to see the watermark.
Third-Party Options for Watermarks
This process will only display your watermark when the video plays on YouTube. If someone downloads the video, the watermark disappears. With the following two sites, you can add watermarks permanently to your videos for free.
Kapwing is an online tool that applies a watermark to your video in just a few simple steps. If you create an account, you can create videos with no watermarks. The videos can be up to seven minutes long, and you can publish up to three hours of videos each month. If you want to do more than that, they have a subscription for $20 a month.
1. Once you create your account, upload your video.
2. When the video is uploaded, click on Images in the top menu.
3. Upload the image you want to use as a watermark, then resize it and drag it to where you want it to appear.
4. Click the Publish button and download your video!
Pixico is another online tool to add your watermark (and other effects) quickly for free. The process is very similar to Kapwing. It takes a little longer to render, but they will email you when it’s done if you don’t have time to wait.
1. Create an account and click “Add watermark.”
2. Drag your video to the upload box.
3. Once that video uploads, select your logo image by clicking on the Upload button.
4. Click Render and wait for it to process.
Whether you opt for the quick YouTube branding process or choose to do something more permanent, you can easily add a watermark to your YouTube videos to protect them.
If you are new to YouTube and need to create your channel, learn how you can create your own YouTube channel. Alternatively, if you wanted to add a watermark to an image instead of a video, this tutorial will show you how.