Facebook’s October update and how it affects you, the artist

TL;DR Facebook is protecting itself from getting sued by big companies and will be taking down cover videos and restricting access to its platform of repeat offenders. 

TTL;DDR Cover artists are going to have to get creative with how they deliver content, everyone else will be ok. 

It seems that there are some big shakeups happening with how Facebook is allowing artists to deliver their wares. I want to clear up the details for you and translate them from marketing jargon to regular hip internet slang – if you are anxious about it then look no further!

You may have seen the new terms of service from Facebook, specifically their music guidelines which come into effect on October 1st. The guidelines have people worried, with some saying that your music page will be banned if you post covers – this is probably* just a bit of scaremongering for “likes”…

We also can remove or restrict access to your content, services or information if we determine that doing so is reasonably necessary to avoid or mitigate adverse legal or regulatory impacts to Facebook.

Facebook Terms of Service

Here’s the craic: since the middle of last year the big three record companies have figured out the effectiveness of Facebook ads and are finally starting to cash in on the gold rush. However, in order for them to do this they need to clear up all sorts of licensing grey areas as they move their entire library of music videos on to Facebook for your consumption. The new algorithm will find and snipe people playing backing tracks with covers. If you are not one of these people then you are not going to be affected.

This will, however, affect you in other ways – one of which is that Facebook will likely develop new music advertising tools to make your life a bit easier. The downside of this is that big companies with bigger budgets than you will raise the proverbial rent on Facebook real estate and ads will become less cost effective. So, if you want use Facebook properly to deliver music to the right people, then you should get going immediately.

*How do I know that all the hyperbole is untrue? The terms state that they have been in effect for quite a while – I myself got a drum cover taken down (I thought Death Grips were cool and sans-label but I was wrong!)

Music from the west of Ireland