For a long time now, YouTube has been the dominant social media platform for music discovery across the major social networks. According to industry sources, it looks like Facebook is gaining a piece of the pie with deals that would “govern user-generated videos that include songs.”
As of now, Facebook doesn’t currently have any deals in place with record labels and publishers for revenue on music streamed on their platform, meaning lost revenue for musicians on any viral videos that feature their content. They also lack a system to successfully pick up on copyrighted material use such as YouTube’s Content ID system.
That being said, the platform does boast a user base of 2 billion and has looked to be straying into proper discussions with the music industry with the hiring of Tamara Hrivnak to lead ‘global music strategy.’ As the former VP of digital strategy & business affairs at Warner Music Group’s publishing arm Warner/Chapell with prior experience at YouTube, Hrivnak brings plenty of music industry legitimacy, which is an encouraging sign to music industry executives. Similar to the existing YouTube deal, any deal with Facebook would be heavily reliant on nullifying copyright violations in user-generated videos.
Ad revenue generated by video content is perhaps Facebook’s biggest reason for their foray into the music industry which has seen Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube all flourish. Online TV ads attract approximately $70 billion in advertising annually making it a lucrative market from which Facebook can draw on its massive user base. And with Facebook allegedly looking to play audio from Facebook videos by default on mobile, users will potentially stay on the site for even longer, bringing in more ad revenue.
Per music industry consultant Vickie Nauman, cutting a deal between Facebook and the music industry would be no easy feat. “Facebook definitely has the size and scale, but the tribal nature of music preferences is different than a feed or news stories or cute cat videos. To be successful, it will not only need to envision a great music experience but also have to navigate the web of label and publisher rights and relations. No small feat.”
We’ll see in the coming months whether or not Facebook is up to the task.