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Facebook plays down rumoured music plans beyond video

By | Published on Friday 10 July 2015


So is Facebook heading into the streaming music quagmire, sorry, land of hope and opportunity, or is it not heading in the streaming music blah blah? Well, that’s the big question isn’t it? Which is why I asked it. In case you wondered.

As previously reported, the social networking firm has been busy talking to the major record companies, though mainly about adding music to its growing video platform and therefore taking on YouTube at its own game. It’s thought that Facebook is planning to match the Google-owned video site’s Content ID system allowing music rights owners to manage and monetise pop promos uploaded to its video platform. Word has it the majors hope that Facebook might be able to better target ads around their videos, and therefore charge a premium to advertisers, boosting the ad revenue in which labels share.

So that’s all rather interesting. But then earlier this week a source told Music Ally that pop videos were just stage one of Facebook’s music plans, and that chiefs at the social network also had ambitions to launch an audio streaming service up against Spotify and Apple Music. But not so, says an official spokesman for the social media firm, which told Billboard yesterday that the company has “no plans to go into music streaming”. A major label source also verified that Facebook’s discussions with rights owners to date have only mentioned video.

There has been loads of speculation about Facebook moving into streaming music pretty much ever since MySpace did the same, and various partnerships have been rumoured to make such a thing happen, for example between the social network and Vevo in 2012. A much hyped alliance was struck between Facebook and Spotify, though that proved to be somewhat lacklustre despite Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg’s constant wiffle waffle about removing all the “friction” from the social music experience.

But for now, music videos do seem like they’ll come to Facebook this year, initially as a bit of an experiment, though any audio-based play doesn’t seem to be on the agenda for the near future at least.