New Year, New Licensing Regulations?

New Year, New Licensing Regulations?

The new year may also bring with it new licensing regulations on your favorite social platforms. Facebook, according to The Financial Times, is reportedly working with music publishers to create systems for identifying unlicensed content. Similar to YouTube’s own identification methods, these systems would identify unauthorized song covers or uses in Facebook video.

Conducting “productive talks” with the social media giant, music publishers hope to cash in on the billions of streams Facebook videos accrue. As of now, Facebook does not share these streaming revenues with publishers, though YouTube does. According to the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), 900 of these videos contain music from the top 33 spots of the charts, and accrued a whopping 600 million views.

As the web and streaming services continue their exponential rise, the issues of legality and revenue lose clarity. Labels themselves have been squeezed by the internet for some time now, and we’re getting to the point that these entities are making new proposals to save their skins. They already began pressuring Facebook to take down unauthorized covers, a manner similar to the early days of YouTube.

And other players look keen to take a piece of the pie. Spotify’s IPO is to be released soon and is expected to be quite high, which they hope will tip an entity like Universal Music into sharing more of their catalog. Meanwhile, given Spotify’s decision to not buy Soundcloud, it appears Google may make its own offer.

The rise of streaming already changes the way much of these platforms operate. Soundcloud, similar to what happened to YouTube, sees more and more ads everyday, and Spotify’s commercials primarily entice you into buying the service. As streaming further changes the ways we consume music, it will also alter the way businesses make profits.

Publishers and Facebook don’t expect to reach a deal on the identification system until the coming spring.

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