With most of the world quarantined, live-streamed concerts from home are currently artists’ only way to perform for their fans. But weirdly, two of the most popular tools used to do exactly this – Facebook Live and Facebook-owned Instagram Live – are not currently monetizeable (although Instagram is reportedly working on ads for IGTV video).
That means, of course, that regardless of how many concurrent viewers an artist attracts, at present, said artists cannot charge fans for access or even directly monetize that traffic. In contrast, Amazon-owned video game live streaming platform Twitch does offer monetized elements to musicians, via its Partner Program.
On Friday (April 24), Facebook finally revealed a few potential game-changing updates to its live-streaming offering via a blog post. The firm acknowledged that people are increasingly “turning to Facebook Live and Instagram Live for workout classes, cooking lessons, faith services and more so we’re adding features to make them even more useful”.
In the biggest news of all, Facebook announced that “to support creators and small businesses,” it is planning to allow owners of Pages “to charge for access to events with Live videos on Facebook – anything from online performances to classes to professional conferences”.
Facebook is also expanding its ‘Stars’ tool to more Pages and more countries: Facebook users buy and send ‘Stars’ to creators while they’re streaming. “They’ll earn 1 cent for every Star,” according to Facebook.
Elsewhere, Facebook is bringing back its ‘‘Live With’ feature, which lets you add another person, using their own device, to a live video, i.e. allowing you to include “a guest speaker, interview an expert or perform with a friend”.
And, “in the coming weeks”, you’ll also be able to mark Facebook Events as ‘online only’, integrate the event with Facebook Live and then broadcast that event live to your guests.
These new features, and particularly the ability to charge for events is great news for the music business and will likely be a hit with artists looking for ways to generate revenue while their tours are paused.
For Facebook, the implementation of a new tool that lets creators charge for live-streamed events, during which they can then perform cover songs for example, surely throws up a number of licensing and accounting challenges.
In the background, according to a number of job ads spotted by MBW, Facebook has been hiring for music executives that could potentially be playing a key part in all of this.
Firstly, and crucially, the company is hiring for a New York-based Lead Council, Music.
The ad states that the chosen applicant “will support Facebook’s music business development team in executing our global music licensing strategy across labels, publishers, and PROs.”
This person will need to have more than five years’ digital music licensing experience, “including hands-on experience negotiating label, publisher, and PRO deals”.
Elsewhere, Facebook is hiring for:
- Strategic Planning & Operations Analyst, Music (this person will need 5+ years’ experience working in an analytical capacity developing insights, defining metrics, and making recommendations).
- Music Business Development Manager, APAC (IG + FB family apps). Based in Singapore, this exec will need at least five years’ hands-on experience in negotiating digital music licensing deals, with more than 10 years’ total experience.
- Music Accounting Manager. This person will work “as part of the team responsible for ensuring the accuracy and completeness of the revenue process for the music business and continually developing and enhancing music processes and financial systems”.
- Manager, Partner Marketing Manager, Entertainment (Music). This individual will need to have experience within the music industry, “specifically navigating the label ecosystem” and an understanding the dynamics related to label and partner deal negotiations.
- Digital Marketing Lead, Media Partnerships. This role requires 12+ years’ experience in digital marketing roles at media, marketing or advertising firms or companies and knowledge and operating experience across paid, owned, and earned channels including Facebook advertising, digital and traditional media channels, email, and web.
Music Business Worldwide