Mergers and acquisitions - not the usual fare of our news, but this one is a significant shift in the power for online video and music - dominated currently by Youtube - did you know for instance that well over 60% of Youtube usage is for music playback, rather than simply watching videos of cats and synthesizers or indeed Sonic lab reviews?
Facebook want some of that - they have been aggressively pushing video on their platform for the last 18 months or so - with uploaded video content getting priority over regular posts.
In this new deal with Universal Music Group (UMG)- an "unprecedented" multi-year agreement which licenses its recorded music (just shy of 30% of total music market share), Facebook users will be able to upload their own video content which contain UMG music content to Facebook, Instagram and Oculus - ultimately this means that the digital rights of the featured artist (assuming its UMG) will get some kickback from any ads surrounding the uploaded content - we presume similar to the way that Youtube will take any ad revenue from content which features music from any of its partners.
UMG is a massive company which encompasses Capitol, Decca, Def Jam, Deutsche Gramaphon, EMI, island, Polydor, A&M, Geffen, Fiction, Polydor and many more.
Whats does this mean? Well for starters, its going to mean that Facebook are likely to prioritise video content to ensure it reaches as many eyeballs as possible - better than a photo, link or text posts. We also anticipate that they are likely to improve the video features as they take on Youtube's complete dominance of the online video world.
We hope this will lead to some more competition and ultimately mean another potential revenue for artists - we've all seen the stories of paltry royalties for all but the multi-million view tracks.
Time will tell as to wether this is the case, but hopefully, competition should be good.
In the mean time, if you do upload video to Facebook of your performances and or music, now might be a good time to take advantage of Facebook's video priority reach algorithms.