[Action Needed] Upcoming Changes to Asset Privacy for Audio

Developers,

We are making important changes to the way privacy works for audio, giving you more control over how your assets are used across the platform. On March 22, all new audio uploaded will be Private and all existing audio longer than 6 seconds will be set to Private.

To help you prepare for these changes, we are announcing the following:

  • Starting today, all audio uploads are free. To support this change, there are now monthly limits on how many audio assets you can upload.

    Thresholds will differ between accounts. For example, an account that is ID verified will be able to upload 100 audio assets per month. Learn more about uploading sounds and music here

  • We have released a new Audio Discovery plugin to help you review the ownership of all audio assets in your experiences. We’ve included a step-by-step guide in the Privacy Changes section below.

  • By March 22, our current licensed music catalog will receive a newly curated selection of more than 100,000 rights-cleared songs and more than 100,000 new professionally-produced SFX from top audio and music partners like APM, Monstercat, Pro Sound Effects, Nettwerk Music Group and Position Music for you to use.

    You can browse the Roblox licensed catalog and the Monstercat collection now. Keep an eye out for an announcement in the coming weeks with more information on the other additions to the music catalog.


The March 22nd changes to audio asset privacy are significant and will require changes to your experiences. Please begin reviewing your experiences now using the information provided below.


It is important that you read through this announcement in its entirety and ask any questions you might have. We will work with you to make this transition as smooth as possible over the coming weeks.

Before we get into the details, let’s talk about why we are making this change and what it means.

Respecting Content Creator Rights

Roblox is a platform where anyone can create and we have a responsibility to ensure our tools and systems respect the rights of all content creators.

Easy access to public assets has allowed developers to build amazing experiences using incredible content uploaded by creators from around the world. However, as we enable more UGC on our platform, we believe that creators will want to better control the availability, manner of distribution, and value of their creations.

By establishing that audio asset uploads are private by default, we will empower these creators to better manage their creative work. In the future, we will expand this to include other asset types.

Privacy Changes for All Audio Assets

On March 22, all newly uploaded audio will be Private by default and all existing audio longer than 6 seconds will be set to Private⁠—it’s important to note that Private assets will have their contents protected from unauthorized use but their metadata (name, description) will remain visible. We will also temporarily pause your ability to distribute your audio on the marketplace.

All of the Roblox official licensed catalog of Music and SFX will remain Public and usable by developers in any of their experiences.

Audio privacy is intended to give you control over where and how your audio assets are used. The new privacy system will work when assets are uploaded by the same user or Group that created the experience. However, this will be a significant change for any creators who reference and rely on audio that they did not also upload.

When we turn on the new privacy settings, the audio assets in your experience will stop working if they were not uploaded by the same user or Group who created the experience.

Please use the Audio Discovery Plugin to review all audio assets in your published experiences and make changes outlined below before March 22.

Audio Discovery Plugin & Workflow

As we prepare to roll out this feature, you should take the time to review the audio assets in your experience to ensure that they will continue working once the privacy changes take effect.

The latest version of Studio includes a new Audio Discovery Plugin. Make sure to upgrade to the latest version of Studio to access it.

The Audio Discovery Plugin tool will help you find audio assets in your experiences. The tool will only show accurate results in published Places, non-published Places will mark audio as “needs to be replaced” because it will not be able to perform the appropriate checks.

The Audio Discovery plugin will do a few things:

  1. Scan a Place for all the audio assets it references. This scan includes Sound Instances as well as audio assetIds in Lua code, IntValues, and StringValues.

  2. Check whether the audio is expected to continue working after March 22:

    • Asset uploader is the same as the experience creator
    • OR the audio length is under 6s
    • OR the audio is uploaded by the Roblox account or our music and SFX partners
  3. Display the results of the check:

    • Blue checks indicate no change is needed
    • Red X’s indicate that this audio should be replaced. Replace this audio with:

      • New audio uploaded by the user or Group that published the experience
      • OR audio uploaded by the Roblox account or our music and SFX partners

    • Green checks indicate audio that you have replaced so far
  4. Show all locations where audio assets are used

Note: If you script events based on a sound playing as a trigger for gameplay, please be aware that these events will NOT fire if the sounds fail to load because of privacy.

Begin reviewing the content of your experiences now. You will have until March 22, 2022, to make any necessary changes.

No More Audio Upload Fees

Starting today, you will no longer need to spend Robux to upload audio to the platform. In order to support this change, we have set monthly limits on how many audio assets a user can upload.

We understand that the incoming privacy changes will cause an abnormal increase in upload requests over the next two weeks. Even with the increase, most developers should not hit the limits. We will be monitoring upload activity across different user groups and expect to adjust these thresholds over time.

Audio is a core component of any experience. Our hope is that by removing barriers like this, it will make it easier for everyone to publish content.

Note: It may take longer than expected for your audio to be reviewed as we work through the temporary increase in upload volume.


FAQ

General Questions

When do I have to review and update the audio references in my experience?

  • You must review and make any changes before March 22, 2022. Begin reviewing all audio in your experience using the Audio Discovery plugin as soon as possible.

How do I check which audio my experience is using?

  • We have released a new Audio Discovery Plugin in the latest Studio update which will help you review the ownership of all audio assets in your experiences. Please reference the step-by-step instructions included above and review all audio assets in your experience before March 22.

How do I ensure items like radios and boomboxes continue to function?

  • If your experience allows users to play arbitrary audio, it may be disrupted later this month when many audio assets become private.

    To avoid disruption, we recommend you switch from offering Id-based playback to letting users pick from the Roblox licensed music catalog. By doing this, your users will have access to more than 100,000 rights-cleared songs and more than 100,000 professionally-produced SFX from top audio and music partners like APM, Monstercat, Pro Sound Effects, Nettwerk Music Group and Position Music.

    You can browse the Roblox licensed catalog and the Monstercat collection now, with more to come.

Asset Privacy

Which audio assets will be affected by the privacy changes?

  • The privacy changes will apply to ALL new audio going forward and will also retroactively apply to existing audio assets that are longer than 6 seconds.

    Audio that is owned and uploaded by Roblox or our music and SFX partners will remain public and usable by anyone in any experience. We are also adding more than 100,000 free songs and 100,000 free SFX for you to use - huge thanks to our partners at APM, Monstercat, Pro Sound Effects, Nettwerk Music Group, Position Music!

Can I change the privacy settings on my audio assets to make them all public?

  • While you are able to manage your privacy settings right now, on March 22, ALL audio that is longer than 6 seconds will be set to Private and all new audio will default to Private, regardless of length. We will also temporarily pause the ability to distribute audio on the marketplace while we work on a long term solution for managing your asset’s privacy settings.

Can I change my audio assets back to public if they are made private on March 22?

  • No, the ability to set audio to public will be temporarily paused while other solutions are being looked into. We do not have an estimate for when we will re-enable the ability for you to change an asset from private to public.

What does this mean for other asset types like Models, Meshes, or Animations?

  • Initially, privacy will only work for audio but we will eventually unlock it for all other asset types. You will then be able to choose whether to make any asset public or private.

    For private assets, you will be able to manage who uses them by granting permissions to individual accounts or experiences. This will give you significantly greater control over who can use your assets and means you will eventually have more options with how you upload and share your assets.

New Audio Upload Limits

What impacts the number of audio uploads I have available per month?

  • By default, creators can upload up to 10 audio files each month. You can increase your monthly limit to 100 audio uploads per month with ID verification. We’ll continue to experiment, and some users may see different limits in the coming weeks.

What happens to my personal information when I submit it to ID verify?

  • We want you to know that we take our community’s safety and privacy seriously and never store raw ID document data. When a government-issued ID is scanned for verification, an anonymized value is generated, allowing Roblox to safely verify identity without risking exposure of the user’s real identity.

How long does it take for audio assets to be approved?

  • Audio upload queues are under a heavy load right now. It may take longer than expected for your audio to be reviewed as we work through the temporary increase in upload volume. We do not have exact estimates at this time.
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This topic was automatically opened after 15 minutes.

I am immensely happy with the asset teams as of late. They’ve been extremely respectful of our privacy and our needs as developers (unlike certain teams, cough product) and providing us with unbelievable amounts of goods. Development has also never been more accessible to teams and individuals without significant capital to invest going in without guarantee of success. New developers and experimental experiences can break into the platform without these initial roadblocks.

I am also VERY, VERY excited to hear that Roblox is expanding the professional catalog. This was a topic I brought up internally during Accelerator and I was excited to hear that Roblox still had plans to revisit the APM catalog especially for licensed music since there were some APM tracks I wanted to use but were not on the platform yet. ON TOP OF THIS, the sound team has gone above and beyond my expectations by introducing new catalogs not just for music but sound effects too. Position Music also sports an incredible catalog of cinematic music so I’m excited to work with that especially.

Now all this praise isn’t without the criticism where due. With Roblox moving forward to provide us more resources, it is equally clear that there is an intent to crack down on unpermissive use of assets. Please confer with the moderation team regarding how they handle license violations. There are pressing issues we as developers need resolved:

301 Likes

I’m very excited about this! It’s great to see more and more features become available to users without fees or Premium.
I’m also very excited for the asset permission system to be available for more assets.

  • Is there a way to input an arbitrary asset ID into the Audio Discovery program? The plugin does not detect all of the audio IDs in my scripts.
  • Why was 6 seconds chosen as the threshold? Is there a way to force old audio under this threshold to be private?
79 Likes

This is a great change. It is kind of a shame that we won’t be able to use a lot of audios anymore, especially old ones as the owners of those audios are unlikely to ever even log on to make them public, but hopefully the new ones you made with APM, Monstercat, Pro Sound Effects, Nettwerk Music Group and Position Music will be helpful.

And also, thanks for giving us a heads up unlike other times.

90 Likes

This is not a good update, people are going to bypass audios like never before.

801 Likes

Exciting! I have been waiting for an update like this for a while. I believe this is going to be greatly beneficial to the community. :slight_smile:

Quick question, can you opt to pay the fee to bypass the monthly limit? Some developers may require to upload more audio than permitted, was this accounted for? Thanks!

73 Likes

Personally-
at first i think this is a horrible idea.
Roblox’s audios are annoying and almost EVERY single audio by them does not fit my needs.
But they are compensating for this with the ability to upload free audio assets-
Of course you will be able to upload alot more if you are ID verified (and probably) if you have a premium membership.
This action (i understand) to enable free audios (which have been requested for some time) but by suppressing bots uploading a ton of audios at the same time.
Edit: Just looked and i can only upload 10 audios A MONTH.
it will be a few months before i can release my game now.

504 Likes

I have my game under my main account, however I have a test version of my game under a group game, so I can better manage who is allowed to test the game.

How would I allow my own account-uploaded audio to work in my group game? As it stands, I had to take all the models I insert in the main game and upload them through the group, and then buy the models on my account so the main game place could insert them

Would I have to do such a swap so the audio works both in the main game and test game with the same asset IDs? Is there a way of sharing my assets on my main game with my own group game?

Also, my current method of having all assets work for both my main game and group game seems problematic, because, other than having to upload things through a group that doesnt encompass the actual main game, I noticed bots auto-buy my model in the brief window where I set it for free so my main account can buy it. Which means they are fully allowed, by roblox rules, to use my asset as I made it free at one point.

129 Likes

Alright, this post needs to seriously clarify a couple things:

  1. OP states that “all existing audio longer than 6 seconds will be set to Private.” Does this mean that every audio asset that is currently free-to-take will become unavailable? That is simply unacceptable, I hope it’s not the case.

  2. OP states that “privacy changes will apply to ALL new audio going forward and will also retroactively apply to existing audio assets that are longer than 6 seconds.” Again, does this apply to currently free-to-take audio, or only audio that is presently unavailable?

  3. How will this work with audio in MY inventory, audio that was and has been free up until this point? Will I still be able to use these audio assets in my games even though I wasn’t the one to upload it?

  4. If a user uploads an audio asset and makes it public, can they later go back and make it private? What if I made a game that uses this asset while it was free and it suddenly becomes unavailable? Will I be notified that an audio I use in my game has been privated?

EDIT:

  1. What’s to stop users from simply downloading all the audio they won’t be able to use in their games in two weeks, and reuploading it under their own accounts while they still can? This would seem to be a pretty glaring oversight considering you just took away the only penalty for doing this (a Robux fee).

EDIT 2:

YIIIIIIKES dudes. These are FREELY AVAILABLE audio assets that I have IN MY INVENTORY and I won’t be able to use them. Totally unacceptable.

image

564 Likes

So, in short, music audios can no longer be used in games if they aren’t owned by the creator?

206 Likes

I hope the addition of the new sounds comes with an update to the sorting and filtering.
Finding the right sound is already difficult, and the fact that the search engine has almost no relevant context to what I am looking for makes it even worse.

To start off, when we search for audio assets there needs to be some sort of a distinction between a Sound Effect and a Soundtrack/Music, right now it’s really hard to find the assets you need given the state of the search bar.

90 Likes

What the hell? We got free audio uploads, but at what cost?

We only have 2 weeks to adjust this change. Way too short considering the amount of audios people could have in their inventory.

There go all the games with radio gamepasses :confused:

Also, what determines how much audios accounts get to upload per month?

284 Likes

How come some developers like me have a 2000 per month limit?

edit: didn’t mean to reply to colbert2677, oops

54 Likes

Will audios uploaded to my actual account automatically have permission to be used by any groups I own or games I have edit access on or will this need to be set manually?

31 Likes

This is a really good update! Especially about the fact that uploading audio is no longer a financial problem you have to deal with!

my opinion on this update is now mixed,

this update is gonna force me to download other people’s audio just to get the perfect music working in my game

on the other hand, atleast audio uploads are free!

25 Likes

Great addition, really interested in how it’s fully calculated, seeing as users in my Discord server are ranging from 10/month - 100/month or even 2000/month

57 Likes

This is a pretty short timeline for a breaking change (<2 weeks), it might be tough for some folks to address all their experiences by that time frame. I’m used to more generous time frames on changes like this from Roblox.

179 Likes

AYO NO WAY THANK YOU SO MUCH. This is actually great, without the fees things will be so much better. Great step Roblox, this was one of the most requested features!

25 Likes

But, but… FREE AUDIO! FREE! AUDIO!

57 Likes