Facebook reveals plans to negotiate with existing digital music platforms

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Back in March, MBW revealed that Facebook was hiring for no less than three senior positions – all focused on the direct licensing of music.

Two of those jobs related to music publishing: North America Music Publishing Business Development Lead and International Music Publishing Business Development Lead.

Another fell on the recorded side of the business: a Label Music Business Development Lead tasked with ‘leading Facebook’s strategy and negotiations’ with music labels throughout the world.

The job ads arrived shortly after the social media giant – which recently announced it had surpassed 2bn active users – hired former Youtube and WMG exec Tamara Hrivnak to lead its global music strategy.

It seemed pretty clear that Facebook was gearing up to take on the likes of YouTube, and even Spotify, with its own music-based platform.


Now Facebook is hiring again for a music-facing position. But this time, there’s a bit of a twist.

In a new ad for a ‘Music Business Development Manager’, spotted by MBW, the West Coast-based company reveals that it’s seeking an individual to ‘lead Facebook’s strategy and negotiations with digital music services, as well as collaborate with our product, media partnerships and platform partnerships teams to ensure a coordinated and best-in-class approach’.

A guesstimate: that means striking some kind of revenue-share-esque deals with the likes of Spotify, Shazam, YouTube etc. so that they can be more integrated on the Facebook platform.

“This role will lead Facebook’s strategy and negotiations with digital music services, as well as collaborate with our product, media partnerships and platform partnerships teams to ensure a coordinated and best-in-class approach.”

This could, of course, be additive to the direct licensing responsibilities of the role Facebook previously advertised – especially when it comes to sharing music over Facebook Messenger.

But could it also represent something of a change in direction?

Could Facebook have settled on a music strategy weighing more on relationships with existing third-party services than the launch of a proprietary music platform?


The new Menlo Park-based position, which was first advertised in the past fortnight, requires candidates with 6+ years of experience in music partner relationship management, including international experience.

In addition, it calls for ‘digital music negotiation experience’.

The successful applicant will: ‘Work with Facebook product and partnerships teams across our business to ensure a comprehensive music strategy that supports our efforts to make the world more connected on Facebook’, as well as ‘representing Facebook in meetings with digital music service executives from other companies globally’.

In addition, the person who gets the job is expected to ‘be a source of deep insights about the music ecosystem and partners to our executives’.

Under ‘Preferred Qualifications’, Facebook says it’s looking for someone with a ‘proven track record of leadership and hands-on deal experience in music licensing for global organizations’, as well as ‘proven commercial leadership with business development and operational experience with technology companies’.

Obviously enough, the role also requires ‘extensive knowledge of digital business models and technology’.Music Business Worldwide

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