As early Facebook employees recently told my colleague Nick Bilton,the social network’s rapid evolution into a global power-player has come as a relative shock. “They look at the role Facebook now plays in society, and how Russia used it during the election to elect Trump, and they have this sort of ‘Oh my God, what have I done’ moment,” admitted one. “I lay awake at night thinking about . . . what we could have done to avoid the product being used this way,“ said another. Others in Silicon Valley described [and royalty deadbeat] Mark Zuckerberg as out of touch with reality, unaware of the damage his brainchild has done. While C.O.O. Sheryl Sandberg, Zuckerberg’s indefatigable No. 2, recently acknowledged that “things happened on our platform that shouldn’t have happened,” she maintained that Facebook is not a news organization. “At our heart we’re a tech company,” she said in an interview last week. “We don’t hire journalists.”
[Editor Charlie sez: That’s straight outta The Circle, they don’t hire journalists, they get news feeds for free.]
Read the post on Vanity Fair
[Editor Charlie sez: More on royalty deadbeat Facebook’s charm offensive, this time from Jim Cramer’s The Street featuring quotes from David Lowery. And notice–no mention of takers for the hillbilly deal offer.]
For years, Facebook chose not to pay licensing fees to music labels or songwriters despite the site’s billions of hours of uploaded music. The world’s most popular social media platform argued that because the site didn’t make it possible for users to search for a particular song, in the manner of Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL) YouTube, it wasn’t using music to drive sales….
Yet as Facebook’s priorities have evolved, so has its view on music. As CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly said of late, Facebook is focused on becoming a hub for premium video content, both from advertisers and users as well as original content for its Watch and other platforms.
As a result, Facebook has begun to negotiate licensing deals with the industry’s three major music labels as well as Merlin BV, which represents hundreds of independent distributors, according to a person familiar with the talks. A deal is likely to take place within months rather than years, the source said. News that Facebook had offered the labels hundreds of millions of dollars so that its users might legally upload music to the site was initially reported by Bloomberg on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
“It’s a major win for songwriters in that Facebook is actually admitting they need licenses,” said David Lowery, a lecturer in the music business program at the University of Georgia and frontman for the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven. “If you expect to get major brands to spend big money on video advertising that’s professionally produced, you absolutely need licenses. That’s what’s driving this.”
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[More news from royalty deadbeat Facebook trying to mimic royalty deadbeat YouTube for the same old shite revenue share deal. Are we going to get the okie doke hillbilly deal yet again?]
The world’s largest social network has redoubled its efforts to reach a broad accord with the industry, according to interviews with negotiators at labels, music publishers and trade associations. A deal would govern user-generated videos that include songs and potentially pave the way for Facebook to obtain more professional videos from the labels themselves….
Facebook’s interest in music rights is inextricably linked to its growing interest in video. Having siphoned ads away from print, online companies have recently targeted TV, which attracts about $70 billion in advertising a year. While Facebook faces competition from Twitter Inc. and Snapchat Inc., its main rival is Google, and music is one of the most popular types of videos on Google’s YouTube service. Facebook declined to make an executive available for an interview.
Read the post on Bloomberg
If anything takes the heat off YouTube a little in 2017, it could be the music industry’s increasing concerns about Facebook, which utilises the same safe harbours as Google, but without paying any royalties at all to the music community.
The big shift at Facebook of late, of course, has been to video content. The social media giant sees video as key to its future consumer offer and advertising business, and prioritises video content in its users’ feeds. That has resulted in an ever increasing number of users uploading and sharing video content that is hosted on Facebook’s servers, putting it ever more closely in competition with the [licensed] Google service….
[Facebook] formally unveiled Rights Manager – it’s rival to YouTube’s Content ID – last April, giving [some] rights owners the power to remove their content from the Facebook platform when it is uploaded by users without permission [if you agree to a bunch of terms Facebook won’t reveal until you “apply” for Rights Manager and are “approved”]. But, while big bad YouTube’s Content ID also provides [some] rights owners with monetisation tools, Rights Manager is currently all about takedown [because there is no monetization on Facebook because Facebook is unlicensed]. Which is to say, it’s a technology mainly designed to assure [royalty deadbeat] Facebook safe harbour protection.
Read the post on Complete Music Update.