Facebook has made a foray into the music industry, announcing a possible licensing agreement with artists. The deal would see users be able to upload content containing music from artists within the agreement, and have it licensed under Facebook. It’s been aptly titled Facebook Watch.
However, while the use of music on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube is a positive in terms of play and publicity, there is a grey area which is growing ever larger in terms of remuneration.
With Facebook throwing their considerable weight into music licensing, the question once again emerges: will artists receive the proper renumeration?
In 2016 YouTube paid $1 billion to labels and publishers, a figure which surpasses that of Spotify and Apple Music. With YouTube payouts already at a significant low, the conversation has, in light of this possible new agreement, been steered towards exactly where artists are placed when it comes to their income in a streaming soaked landscape.
In speaking of the impending agreement, Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw and Sarah Frier commented “Getting into business with Facebook presents something of a Faustian bargain. Rights holders need a deal. Given the current legal framework for copyright online, users are going to upload video with infringing material no matter what. The onus is on rights holders to police those videos. A deal ensures they get something rather than waste resources tracking down all the illegal videos.”
So Facebook could now be moving into the sphere of the music industry, yet another attempt to alleviate the strain of pirating and illegal consumption of music online. Could we be seeing a new era, whereby social media becomes a player in the music game, not only as facilitators but those which would capitalise on its content?
This story originally appears here.