Facebook is the latest tech firm to take on YouTube. According to the New York Post, the social networking site, which has around 1.59 billion users worldwide, is searching for new ways to work with the music industry.
Facebook in talks with music labels
Citing unnamed sources, the Post says Facebook has initiated talks with music labels within the past few weeks about licensing a limited amount of songs that users can upload to, for instance, birthday parties or winter holidays. This idea will be of advantage to the music labels if it comes to fruition because they would no more be frustrated about the volume of unlicensed user-generated content on YouTube.
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Facebook was testing a new product called Slideshow, it confirmed late Sunday. This feature includes music from Warner Music Group to help users create “soundtrack options.” In a statement to the Post, a spokesperson for the Menlo Park company said they are always testing ways to help people better share their stories with friends, and Slideshows are a fresh way for users to share videos and photos in a succinct and creative way.
“To date, we’ve been using Facebook-owned music to accompany these slideshows, we will now be testing the use of a limited amount of music from Warner Music Group as soundtrack options,” the spokesperson said.
Music videos the next frontier
Rivals are suddenly raising the stakes for YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki. Experts are predicting that online video consumption will increase 57% ending in 2017. Also Google-owned YouTube’s revenue is too enticing to leave alone. The music industry wants to collect a bigger portion of that revenue. Last year, UBS analyst Eric Sheridan put YouTube’s annual revenue revenue at $8.5 billion. Google’s parent Alphabet does not break out YouTube’s revenue separately.
Just days after Jeff Bezos’ Amazon declared it would launch Prime Video Service as a new hub for professional and amateur videos of all kinds, Facebook’s music offensive, which is aimed at keeping user-generated content inside its walls, emerged. Prior to this, Facebook’s efforts in the music space were limited. The social network has not made great strides in the revenue-rich video arena yet, but it once had talks about a possible acquisition of music industry-owned Vevo.
In the last earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that currently Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram users spend 50 minutes a day on the services. To convince users to spend more time, the social networking giant needs something new like music.