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What’s Up With Music Licenses on Facebook Going Head to Head with Spotify and YouTube

After months and months spent playing on the streets in London, after having conquered his fans one by one, after covering almost all the songs on the radio, here he hears his big moment: an email from Warner Music , but not is a record contract, but a warning for copyright infringement, at the same time was banned by Facebook, with the promise that if it will violate the copyright again erase its page forever.

Although differently from his expectations, it was certainly his highest moment of popularity on the net. All this thanks to a 15-second video uploaded on Facebook where he runs Castle on the Hill . Why all this fury?

In reality it is not a real fury, but a rethinking towards a too loose attitude towards those who make covers, especially on a platform (Facebook) that does not provide, to date, any form of monetization or distribution of copyright .

If I publish a track published, I go to exploit the work of someone else’s ingenuity that must necessarily be rewarded: I can do it on YouTube, where the system provides revenue sharing (percentage of video advertising revenue + 2 euro paid by Siae / Soundreef every 10 thousand views) and of course on the Digital Service Provider (Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer), but not on Facebook.

Charlotte Campbell, in its own way, has been a watershed because from that moment work began to ensure the Zuckerberg creature the necessary licenses to host music edited without risking sanctions from the recording industry.

The first step was to establish a dedicated office in Menlo Park called Music Business Development & Partnerships, run by Tamara Hrivnak – a past in Warner and Google where he played a similar role.

Facebook is seeking agreements with majors and independents in order to legally host songs and covers made by their users. However, it has not yet released official news regarding the type of monetization offered.

Surely it will be a program similar to that used by the YouTube competitor : pre-roll advertising and on-screen banners, but we must surely expect some news or innovation. Also because Zuckerberg has repeatedly admitted to want to focus on video not only from the point of view of user-user experience, but also to turn them into advertising space, such as direct reports that could be interrupted by real commercials.

To date, the Music Business Development & Partnerships office has entered into agreements with the three majors : Universal in December 2017, Sony in January and lastly the Warner, where they admit they are proud of having established a “holistic partnership that will cover both the music is the editions, in order to offer the user a social experience such as videos and messages “. Even the most interesting comment is released by the head of the Global Digital Strategy of the major. “The Facebook team is creating an incredibly innovative product”, a small anticipation that, however, simply increases the expectations of social music geeks.

With the majors on board, Facebook can already start making the first tests. However, he still lacks a large part of the market, the one represented by independent labels . These have a remarkable value that in 2017 stood at 4.8 billion dollars. To these we must add the “small change” made by self-production, 472 million dollars. But in Menlo Park they already have an agreement with Merlin that represents over 20 thousand labels, or 12% of the total market.

Then there is the technical aspect: how will it be possible to check what the over 2 billion users do on Facebook with the songs published? And how do you recognize them to reward those entitled?

YouTube, for example, uses audio fingerprints, a super-compressed format that delivers digital distributors. Once the mini file is received, a bot scans the videos uploaded daily looking for and matching the monetization program with the right holders.

Facebook could do the same, entering so heavily in the video streaming market, and – why not? – even in the audio one, actually going to harm the dominant positions of YouTube and Spotify .

But let’s not forget Cambridge Analytica and the fact that Facebook is not the best safe where to place our data. The scandal did not affect behavior. According to a survey conducted by Reuters / Ipsos between April 26th and 30th, only 1% of the interviewed users canceled their account. 4% instead stopped using the social network. However, the interesting figure is 26% which has increased its virtual activity, accompanied by 49% who have not changed their habits.

Facebook will have to convince the industry and musicians to be able to manage their data and produce reports. Above all, you should not use the fair use alibi to not pay the owners of the work fairly.

Charlotte Campbell will therefore be able to use Facebook serenely to promote her musical career, without the fear of losing her own page and years of work. He will have to wait for the Silicon Valley developers to produce this tool as quickly as possible, before the market finds new behaviors.

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