Facebook meets with record labels in bid to steal YouTube’s music video crown

facebook instant article subscription coming
Alaskla/123RF
Facebook is chasing music licensing deals as part of its ramped up video strategy.

Execs from the company recently attended a pre-Grammy awards performance to scout emerging talent, alongside members of established streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora Media. It is also meeting with music publishers, negotiators at labels, and trade associations in order to strengthen its ties with the industry, reports Bloomberg.

Earlier in February, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that his company sees video as integral to its future growth. Other execs have in the past revealed that Facebook predicts it will generate 70 percent of its traffic from video in the next five years. On the one hand, Facebook has assigned its head of global creative strategy, Ricky Van Veen, the task of licensing premium, episodic content from TV studios and professional content creators. The company plans to fund its ambitious video strategy with an ad-sharing model that would see it split revenue with creators, according to Zuckerberg.

The initiative has inevitably drawn comparisons to YouTube and, sure enough, music videos are among the most popular types of content on the video platform.

Facebook’s plan is in its early stages and reportedly involves assuring the industry it has the infrastructure to fight copyright infringement in user-generated videos. In October, the president of industry trade group the National Music Publishers Association, David Israelite, urged Facebook to track unlicensed content and compensate publishers and songwriters. Israelite added that user-generated music videos (comprised of fan-made covers) on the social network were amassing hundreds of millions of views.

Fast forward three months and word leaked that Facebook is working on a music copyright tracking system. The tool is envisioned as its gateway to mending ties with the music industry and will also see it use its user-generated music content to position itself as a viable competitor to YouTube. Facebook has thus far declined to comment on its music strategy.

Capturing a slice of the music pie from Google’s video platform won’t be easy. Despite facing a mounting backlash from music industry trade groups over royalties for a good part of the previous year, YouTube announced in December that it had paid more than $1 billion to the recording industry from advertising alone. That gives it a sizeable head start over its rival.

However, it’s easy to see why labels would want to capitalize on Facebook’s video push, especially in light of the music video numbers the site already boasts. With close to two billion users, the social network provides a massive marketing platform for the industry.

Facebook has already taken small steps in creating deals with record labels. In 2016, it licensed music from Warner Music Group for its Slideshow mini-movie maker in Australia. In January, it hired former record executive — and director of music partnerships at YouTube and Google Play — Tamara Hrivnak to lead its global music strategy.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Israelite indicates that the path to success for the social platform is simple: work on copyright and revenue-sharing or face the consequences.“We are looking forward to being business partners with Facebook,” he states. “If that doesn’t happen, you’ll see the situation turn very quickly.”

Social Media

‘Instagram egg’ embarks on a new adventure as man behind it is unmasked

The Instagram egg made global headlines recently after it became the most-liked post on the photo-sharing app. The person behind the account has now been revealed, as has his reason for choosing an egg for the stunt.
Web

Are you one of the billions who have watched these super-popular YouTube videos?

Viral videos can quickly garner millions upon millions of views, but even they fall well behind the view counts on the most watched YouTube videos ever. Those have been watched billions of times.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the on-demand streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Social Media

Periscope tool adds guests to feeds so streamers can become talk show hosts

Periscope users can now invite viewers to chime into the conversation with more than just the comment tool. By enabling the option to add guests, livestreamers can add guests to the conversation, in audio format only.
Photography

Crouching, climbing, and creeping, the perfect Instagram shot knows no bounds

Just how far will you go for the perfect Instagram? A recent survey shows just how willing Instagram users -- and Instagram husbands -- are to climb, lie down, embarrass themselves or let their food go cold for the perfect shot.
Social Media

Facebook’s long-promised ‘unsend’ feature arrives. Here’s how to use it

Send a message to the wrong person? Messenger now gives you 10 minutes to take it back. After an update beginning to roll out today, users can now retract messages if they act within the first 10 minutes after sending the message.
Social Media

YouTube boss admits even her own kids gave the ‘Rewind’ video a thumbs down

YouTube's 2018 Rewind video went down like a lead balloon at the end of last year, becoming the most disliked video in its history. And now YouTube's CEO has admitted that even her own kids thought it was pretty darn awful.
Social Media

Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

Snapchat's drop in users after launching a controversial redesign has finally stagnated. During the fourth quarter and 2018 earnings report, Snapchat shared that the company is rolling out an Android update designed to increase performance.
Social Media

Skype’s new ‘blur background’ feature could help keep you from blushing

Skype's latest feature for desktop lets you blur your background during video calls. The idea is that it keeps you as the focus instead of distracting others with whatever embarrassing things you might have on show behind you.
Social Media

Twitter users are declining but more people are seeing ads every day

Twitter's end-of-the-year report for 2018 is a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that more users are seeing adds daily, the metric the company will focus on moving forward. But the bad news is that monthly active users are…
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Computing

YouTube beats Apple, Netflix as the most trusted brand by millennials

The popular video sharing website YouTube climbed up in an annual Mblm study, moving up from third place in 2018 and coming ahead of both Apple and Netflix in final 2019 rankings.