What’s on your mind? That’s the question that greets you every morning as you log onto Facebook. And more and more, the answer from the music biz seems to be: what’s on my mind is what the heck is going on with Facebook and music?
Rumours about Facebook’s big music and/or video play have been rumbling for months now.
Ironically for a platform that exists because of people’s desire to tell you more than you really need to know, Facebook themselves are saying very little about it, although we know they’re hiring executives with music experience and talking to labels and publishers about licensing deals.
The site may not have a PRS licence but that doesn’t seem to have stopped Facebook (and particularly Facebook Live) from becoming a vital component of music marketing campaigns of late. And superstar artists’ number of Facebook ‘likes’ is a vital component of the social media arms race.
So a serious music play – with access to a staggering two billion users could be great news for a resurgent biz.
But it could also be problematic. If, as many suspect, Facebook goes down the user generated content route, it could potentially open up a ‘value gap’ to make YouTube’s alleged shortfall look like small change.
Then again, if Facebook plays nice with the biz, it could be just the competition needed to make YouTube – which currently dominates the world of online music video streaming despite a increasingly fractious relationship with rights-holders – get its act together.
Either way, the biz needs clarity fast so it can let Facebook know how it feels in the only language it understands: by clicking either Like, Love, Sad or Angry…
Mark Sutherland, Editor