Facebook confirmed Friday that it will begin launching official music videos on its platform in the U.S. and launch new music destinations within facebook watch,media TechCrunch reported. The changes, which will take effect this weekend, will allow Facebook users to discover, watch and share music videos from a wide range of artists, including Anitta, Blake Shelton, Bob Marley, Diplo, Elton John, Jonas Brothers, Josh Groban, Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Marvin Gaye, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj et al.
While Facebook had worked with partners in India and Thailand to develop similar music experiences before Friday, the U.S. launch benefited from Facebook’s expanded partnerships with top record labels, including Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Merlin, BMG, Kobalt and other independent record labels.
Facebook told TechCrunch that its deal includes a full catalog of all major partners and a number of independent vendors.
TechCrunch reported earlier this month that Facebook’s music video is scheduled to arrive on August 1. TechCrunch also noted that supported artists were told they would soon need to open a new permission that would allow Facebook to automatically add their music videos to their pages, and that they could be found by fans on the page’s video tab. Once enabled, artists will be able to edit or delete their video posts at any time.
However, if this setting is not enabled, Facebook will automatically generate a separate official music page on behalf of the artist with the title “Official Music( Artist Name) ” to make the discovery. The page will be created and controlled by Facebook and accessed through Facebook Watch, but artists can later opt to join and include their official videos on their pages.
Once launched, Facebook users will be able to follow their favorite artists and then receive the latest music videos from those artists in the News Feed because they are already online. The Follow option is not only available on the artist’s Facebook page as before, but also directly from the music video itself.
By clicking on a shared post, fans are directed to the artist’s Facebook page, where they can browse the “videos” tab to watch more officially licensed music.
These music video posts, like any post on Facebook, can be shared, responded to, and commented on. They can also share the posts on News Feed so friends can share them in groups and Messenger.
Meanwhile, dedicated music sections on Facebook Watch will allow users to explore music by type, artist’s name or emotion, or cross-theme playlists such as “Hip Hop MVPs,” “Trailblazers of Pop,” “Epic Dance Videos” or more timely playlists such as “Pop of the Week” and “New Product of the Week.”
These videos, like the rest of Facebook Watch, are monetised by advertising. However, unlike some video ads, they do not interrupt music during playback. Instead, Facebook told TechCrunch that the ads will appear before scrolling, before the video will be played as an image under the video player or after scrolling. Facebook says the plans are likely to change in the coming weeks as it is improving its experience.
It is understood that the company will also apply its personalized technology to the music video experience. As users watch, participate, and share, the music destinations in Facebook Watch will be more tailored to your personal preferences and interests. The company also plans to launch more social experiences in the future, including user-generated playlists.
“The official music video on Facebook is more than just watching the video. It’s about social experiences, from discovering new artists with friends, to connecting more deeply with artists and the people you love,” said Vijaye Raji, Facebook’s vice president of entertainment. “There’s something in our music video catalog that’s for everyone, and we’re excited that people are able to discover and rediscover their favorites,” he added.
Facebook says the new music experience, launched this weekend, is just the beginning, and it plans to roll out more music across the platform over time.
Facebook’s music videos are seen as a major challenge to YouTube, which accounts for 46 percent of global music streaming outside China as of 2017, according to IFPI. At the time, YouTube also claimed that more than 1 billion music fans had come to its site to connect with the music of more than 2 billion artists.
Recently, YouTube reported that it had paid more than $3 billion to the music industry in 2019. However, music companies have shown interest in YouTube’s alternatives, arguing that YouTube is not paid enough. The financial terms of Facebook’s dealings with the companies were not disclosed.
Although Facebook has previously reached agreements with music companies, these agreements are limited. For example, artists from major music companies can’t share a full music video because of licensing rights — they can only post a short preview. Changes that include full video could significantly affect how much time users spend on Facebook in the coming months.
The report said the launch comes after a month-long boycott by Facebook advertisers over hate speech on the platform, with some brands choosing to continue the boycott. But the timing of the music video was not intended to encourage advertisers to return. According to documents previously reviewed by TechCrunch, the date of August 1, 2020 is already the planned date.
Now, the videos are one of several ways artists can connect with fans on Facebook, as the company has introduced tools that allow artists to promote newly released music with customized AR effects and music stickers, hold live questions and answers on Facebook Live, and raise money for important causes through donation buttons in Live and Stories.
“Thanks to tools such as Stories, Live, and Custom AR Effects, artists/fans are more connected and authentic on Facebook. Official music videos have re-emerged in this environment — they become part of the way people express their identity and mood, and bring a new dimension to the artist’s stories that happen every day on our app. Tamara Hrivnak, vice president of business development and partnerships for Facebook Music, said.