Facebook is reportedly still pushing for deals with music labels that would allow for use of licensed music in user posts. According to TechCrunch, label deals would most likely center on music used in videos. Facebook might be seeking an arrangement that would let members edit popular tracks to soundtrack their video uploads. Right now, such a use of licensed music would be subject to a takedown for copyright infringement.
Over the past several months, Facebook appears to have ramped up its behind-the-scenes work on music and audio. It started work building a video-focused rights management tool in late 2016, and it kicked off 2017 by hiring industry veteran Tamara Hrivnak to lead its global music strategy. These signs all point to Facebook strengthening its case to labels, making it a more appealing business partner. However the focus is still squarely on video, which has been a strong source of traffic for the social network and for the owners of popular pages on the site.
That’s not to say audio has no place on the social network. Facebook debuted a native audio product in December, a tool that podcast hosts and distributors have been eagerly awaiting. Although the new feature is only for live broadcasts of audio, the addition of any native format post, which will perform better in Facebook’s News Feed algorithms, it’s still a sign that Facebook is treating audio as a legitimate source of popular content, even if it is playing second fiddle to video in the broader corporate strategy. We’ll be watching its next steps closely.