The team is joined by GuestKats Mirko Brüß, Rosie Burbidge, Nedim Malovic, Frantzeska Papadopolou, Mathilde Pavis, and Eibhlin Vardy
InternKats: Rose Hughes, Ieva Giedrimaite, and Cecilia Sbrolli
SpecialKats: Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo (TechieKat), Hayleigh Bosher (Book Review Editor), and Tian Lu (Asia Correspondent).

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Facebook and music rights: the “not-so-heard-not-GDPR-related-news”. Will it be the new music global service?


The IPKat is happy to publish a new guest contribution by David Serras Pereira (SPAutores), who – this time – reflects on the recent news items concerning Facebook and its investments in music-related activities.

Here’s what David writes:

“Over the past few weeks, the main headings of all news regarding Facebook have been linked to the now world-famous Cambridge Analytica scandal. With the GDPR arriving like a Tsunami into our lives (and our clients ‘lives!) it is natural that our attention has been mainly focused on this.

Yet, the social media giant is making not so heard moves that will allow it to keep a huge market portion of one of the most desired businesses: music! And why is that? Like Lou Rawls once said: “Music is the greatest communication in the world. Even if people don't understand the language that you're singing in, they still know good music when they hear it.”

As we once said on this blog (here), Facebook global music strategy comes from the early beginnings of 2017, when it began hiring former executives from the music business (Tamara Hrivnak), opening positions for top tier jobs in the music licensing relations with labels and collective management organizations, creating its "own-music" projects like SOUND COLLECTION, and very recently with the licensing agreements for the use of music with HFA/Rumblefish, Kobalt, Global Music Rights, Universal Music Group, Sony ATV and SESAC.

Not-so-heard recent (and huge) news about Facebook is that:

- the licensing deals made with top-tier French CMO SACEM (here), one on behalf of Universal Music Publishing International (December), and the others (announced on the 16th of March), covering the use of Sacem’s repertoire, Wixen Music Publishing’s repertoire and SOCAN (Canadian CMO), that cover more than 180 territories and include licensing for Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Oculus;

- last week’s MBW release and detailed analysis (here) that Facebook will expand its music business into Asia-Pacific region, by filling two senior positions for newly created roles, targeting both copyright/authors’ rights (Music Publishing Business Development) and neighbouring rights (Label Music Business Development Manager) markets. And when you take into account the level of music consumption on that region it is not suprising to see where the positions will be based: Tokyo, Singapore or Seoul.

So… just questioning out loud: is Facebook making a pivot in its core business or this is just a side strategy to mitigate its mainly data-related concerns and the impact produced in the stock-market, by rising the shares value through other business divisions? Or has been Facebook pushed and put into rush by the September 2016 EC proposal of a new copyright Directive for the online environment and the so much discussed article 13 proposal?

We will have to see what the future brings here, but of two things we are sure: one is that being a serious bet of Facebook, its music service’s main rivals will include not only traditional players but also the likes of Amazon and YouTube (which is said to have a strategy of adding so many ads to its regular music videos that users will have to subscribe to new music service REMIX here); the other is that maybe, and just maybe, Facebook will offer us as much music and AV copyright matters to study and debate as it provides on privacy and data protection.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Without any clear view of just what "music business" means in the Facebook context, it is difficult to ascribe any value to this article.

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