Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is pressing for music licensing deals, as the social media giant look to break into the music industry, where Video sharing platform YouTube leads.
Facebook is serious about joining the music video sharing industry. Representatives from the company attended the pre-Grammy awards ceremony, which features rising talents in the music industry. Other attendees at the event held on Saturday included executives from Pandora Media- the largest online radio service, Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) YouTube, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Apple Music, and Spotify- a major online music vendor.
Facebook has long been interested in the music video industry
Facebook interest in music videos dates back to 2015. The company has been in talks with record labels since then, and some news agency reported that the social media platform was aiming at featuring music videos in users’ feeds. Back then, it also looked like Facebook would launch a music streaming service to compete with the likes of Spotify and YouTube.
Currently, YouTube is the leading music video streaming service. But the Google-owned service has been at wars with music industry trade groups over copyrights infringement, over the better part of last year. The music industry players were pushing for the laws to change so that YouTube can bear more responsibility for clips that infringe copyrights.
Facebook should do better than YouTube
If Facebook is to make it in the music video industry, it has to correct the flaws of YouTube. The primary focus of the talks with the record labels is copyrights infringement. The music industry has experienced healthy growth due to the rise in popularity of paid music services such as Spotify and Apple Music. Providing the 2 billion Facebook users with a free avenue of listening to Music will derail this growth.
The primary source of copyright violation is user-generated videos. Should Facebook address the issue, it would mean the social media platform would have to pull down any user-generated videos that contain record label owned music, even if the music is in the background and is not the main subject of the video.
Facebook presents an excellent opportunity for record labels
Facebook has vowed that it will come up with strict anti-piracy policies and that it will share revenues gained from music video ad sales. Another effort that may just see the deals with record labels through is the hiring of former YouTube executive Tamara Hrivnak. Hrivnak is heading Facebook’s talks with labels.
Facebook presents a great opportunity for record labels, because of the reach, and ad sales. The music industry consultants are keen to come to an agreement with the social media platform, said David Israelite, the head of the National Music Publishers Association.