Facebook can’t stop the beat.
If offering millions for sports wasn’t enough, Facebook has put in official offers with several major record labels and music publishers in hopes of procuring the rights of songs people use in personal video uploads. Sources close to the company disclosed to Bloomberg that Facebook is currently looking for a shortcut around their current system in the works to prevent copyright infringement. While the program the company is building would potentially be able to identify, tag, and subsequently remove videos infringing, it’s also estimated to take up to two years for completion which is too long according to opinions across the board.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has placed several financial eggs in the video basket as the company launched its latest endeavor, Facebook Watch. Hoping to dethrone YouTube as the largest site for advertising-supported video on the web, Facebook is hoping to invest in their video platform which has surged in the past two years. Leading the company’s streaming charge is Tamara Hrivnak, a former top executive at YouTube as well as Warner/Chappell Music Publishing.
“Music is important and it matters — it connects and binds us to times, places, feelings, and friends. My career has been dedicated to growing opportunities for music in the digital landscape. Facebook is all about making the world more open and connected and music can play an important role — I’m excited to join that effort,” said Hrivnak in a statement earlier this year when she announced she was joining the Facebook family.
The business is lucky to have Hrivnak’s expertise to bargain with as the music industry continues to boom. On-demand streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify have encouraged global music sales to grow 5.9% in 2016 alone according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. The world’s largest record label, Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group, saw a 15.5% increase in sales the last fiscal quarter and it appears as though the numbers will continue to rise thanks to paid music services. Sale growth can also be attributed to YouTube’s advertising, although tensions have been high between due to the music industry accusing the company of underpaying musicians and not respecting their intellectual property.
It’s possible that the industry might see this new Facebook deal as a way to kill two birds with one stone. If videos are going to have infringed music anyway, this will ensure payment for materials used. Likewise helpful, this new bridge linking music to Zuckerberg might inspire YouTube to sweeten their relationship. However, YouTube is a formidable opponent, to say the least, if Facebook wants to steal the crown, they better prepare for a war.