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Facebook is stepping up efforts to reach a licensing agreement with the music industry, according to sources who spoke with Bloomberg.
A deal would allow music to be added to user-generated videos without getting flagged for copyright infringement. It would also potentially open the door for Facebook to obtain more videos from the labels themselves.
With nearly two billion users, Facebook provides a massive opportunity for the industry. It could mean billions of dollars in revenue. Licensed videos would also benefit Facebook, which wants to dethrone YouTube as the leader in online video.
Last month, Facebook hired Tamara Hrivnak, a former key music executive at YouTube. Hrivnak now leads Facebook’s global music strategy and business development.
However, Bloomberg says the talks with Facebook are “complex” and that “a deal could be a couple months away or more.”
“Facebook must also finish a system to police copyright-infringing material akin to Content ID, the system used by YouTube,” Bloomberg writes. “Videos on the site already feature a lot of music for which artists don’t receive royalties — a major source of tension.”
The Financial Times reported in January that Facebook is developing a content ID system, but did not say when it would be completed.
Watch Bloomberg’s report below:
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Facebook is developing a content identification system to fight copyright infringement, reports the Financial Times.
According to a source that spoke with Billboard, the system is similar to YouTube’s Content ID, which identifies videos containing copyrighted music. When the system finds a match, YouTube does what the copyright holder asks it to do with the video: mute it, block it, leave it alone, or monetize it with ads.
The report follows an increase in copyright enforcement on Facebook, which has resulted in blocked videos and in some cases disabled accounts. Both pre-recorded and live videos have been affected.
The stepped up enforcement has been a rude awakening for DJs, as Facebook had long been a haven for mixes and turntablism routines. Takedowns and disabled accounts had been relatively rare, compared to YouTube and SoundCloud.
Facebook’s new content ID system will likely result in a further increase in blocked videos and disabled accounts.
“[Facebook sees] the huge amount of traffic music content is responsible for on their platform and [doesn’t] want to be on the wrong end of an artist fight,” a music industry source told Billboard. “They also see that there’s a potential opportunity to position themselves as friendly to content creators as opposed to YouTube, so they are working fast to get this right.”
Billboard also reports that Facebook is currently in talks with major labels to license content, though the Financial Times cited a source saying a deal would not be done before the spring.
“The reality for Facebook and YouTube is that more and more they are transitioning from tech platforms to media companies,” the source told Billboard. “And the more they look like media companies, the more they are going to have to act like them and respect creators and pay for content.”
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2014 is coming to an end and the usual “top 10 of the year” lists have begun to appear. Facebook’s Year in Review might be one of the most relevant, though, as the website is still the world’s most popular social network.
Below is a list of the most discussed songs on Facebook during 2014. Congratulations to the homie Lil Jon for making the cut!
1. Pharrell – Happy
2. John Legend – All Of Me
3. Sam Smith – Stay With Me
4. DJ Snake & Lil Jon – Turn Down For What
5. Idina Menzel – Let It Go
6. Beyonce ft. Jay Z – Drunk In Love
7. Nicki Minaj – Anaconda
8. Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
9. Magic! – Rude
10. Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX – Fancy
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It’s common knowledge that older generations often struggle with technology. In what might be one of the most hilarious examples yet, grandmas have been accidentally tagging themselves as hip-hop and DJ pioneer Grandmaster Flash on Facebook.
The error is a result of Facebook’s auto-suggest tagging feature, which is causing anyone who starts writing “grandma” to be presented with a link to Grandmaster Flash.
It’s not just an isolated occurrence though. In fact, it’s been happening so much that BuzzFeed recently wrote about it and someone has created a Tumblr blog dedicated to documenting the mistakes of grandmas around the world.
Here’s just a couple of examples:
So what’s Grandmaster Flash have to say about all this?
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Starting in fall, Facebook will no longer allow users to implement the ‘like gating’ tactic on their pages. The company recently announced that the commonly-used method will come to an end on November 5, 2014.
“You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. […] To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.”
Like gating is currently used by many businesses, gaming apps, and musicians as a way to offer content or rewards in exchange for Facebook likes. The company feels there’s no added value from the likes gained through the tactic and instead recommends ‘action gating’ as a replacement.
Jim Belosic, CEO of Facebook contest developer ShortStack, talked with Inside Facebook about the changes:
“We saw that a lot of people were getting a lot of likes using like gating, but then they realized that the likes didn’t really have any kind of real value toward their business goals. […] Instead of like-gating, we started to see people doing what we’re calling action-gating. ‘Hey, if you want to enter my contest or promotion, sign up for our newsletter or give us your email address or give us some feedback on this new product.’ They would actually still get likes, but the likes weren’t forced. They were getting actionable and valuable feedback.”
For years, DJs and producers have used “like to download” apps as a way to grow their fan base. With Facebook recently reaching 2.2 billion users, it’ll be interesting to see how the music industry adapts to the policy change.
Related: SoundCloud Reportedly Close to Deals with Major Labels