The social network mechanism has been an assisting medium for music artists to engage with the virtual audience and for users to consume and discover music. Here we go through media partnerships, features, and programs by Facebook enabling the music consumption landscape in India.
In conversation with Paras Sharma, Director, Media Partnerships, Facebook India, Social Samosa explores the current offerings enabling music and audio consumption on the platform, the trends dominating this landscape, and stratagems to aid artists.
Sharma mentions, the objective of music products on Facebook is based on two elements, “enabling people to express themselves through music and helping artists and fans to connect in meaningful ways”.
Music Consumption Trends
Sharma states, “Since the start of the pandemic, there’s been a fundamental shift in digital content creation, consumption and engagement patterns. Culture has gone virtual and a large part of the music ecosystem like performances, concerts, artist – fans engagement and music consumption has moved online”. He outlines some current trends observed in the Indian region.
- Creation and Consumption Trends have moved from being ‘inspiring’ in the last year to being focused on fundraising this year with concerts organized to contribute in COVID-19 relief funds
- Remix on Reels has been received very well by the users. It launched at the end of March, and several artists use it to involve and engage their community. These include artists like Jonita Gandhi, Arjun Kanungo, Lisa Mishra and Kamakshi Khanna. Their reels have been remixed by hundreds of users respectively.
- As per music consumption patterns, in the last three months, some of the most popular songs on Facebook, Instagram Stories and Reels have been Lut Gaye (feat. Emraan Hashmi) (Jubin Nautiyal), Thoda Thoda Pyaar (Stebin Ben) and Loot Liya (Khasa Aala Chahar).
- Since the launch of Live Video on Facebook four years ago, users have made over 8.5 Bn broadcasts and users are also discovering music with the Music destination feature on Facebook Watch
Here’s how Facebook has been facilitating the consumption of music on the platform.
Facebook first announced its media partnerships with music labels in India for licensed use of their catalog in music products such as Lyrics on Instagram, Lip Sync Live, music stickers, and Instagram Music.
With the objective to streamline music as an enabler of expression and a conversational interest, Sharma says that current partnerships with labels such as Sony Music, Universal Music, Times Music, Speed Records, T-Series Music, Zee Music Company, Tips Music, Yash Raj Films, Saregama, along with Music aggregators, the platform has been able to incorporate music into short videos, Stories, music videos and other formats on Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook has also partnered with third-party music distribution companies, DistroKid and TuneCore to facilitate music delivery process through the distributor partners. Artists can disseminate their music across Facebook’s music library including in Stories and Reels, without any cost.
Their partnership with the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) also looks over Authors, Artists, and Composers being remunerated for their contribution of content being used on the platform. Through this association first announced in July 2020, the artists/members of IPRS can have their compositions out on Facebook & Instagram, to be used through music features.
The IPRS is a representative body of authors and owners, which include composers, lyricists, and owners or publishers of music. The deal with Facebook will cover licensing and royalties whenever music represented by the IPRS is used on Facebook and Instagram.
Stories, AR Filters, Facebook Live, Music Stickers, Q&As, Facebook, and Instagram Music are a few of the features that enable expression or communication through music. Here are a few major music products that assist the social discovery of music on Facebook, along with a feature for artists to deal with infringements.
In association with Spotify, Facebook globally announced the launch of a miniplayer experience driven by social discovery, that will let users listen to audio available on Spotify without leaving the Facebook app.
Spotify Premium users can discover music and episodes in the Facebook app on iOS and Android, and general users can only access the experience along with ads via shuffle mode. The integration is available in more than 175 markets globally where Spotify is available.
Moreover, the experience also has the functionality to play songs via the miniplayer through select verified artists’ posts, or from user-uploaded videos on Facebook that contain licensed music.
Official Music Videos
Facebook announced the introduction of official music videos on the platform to allow users to discover and interact with top-charting tracks of the day as well as browse through old catalogues of various music genres.
The music video feature enables Facebook to create new social experiences for users, who will be able to discover new artists and tracks through social sharing, clicking through to a song (from a Music Sticker or Music Video) shared to a friend’s story or post in News Feed.
Users will be able to find and discover music videos on the platform in Facebook Watch, News Feed, and through Search. Users will get to explore music videos by genre, artists, or mood, as well as theme-based playlists like Top Artists on Facebook Watch.
Infringements such as sampling audio from parts of copyrighted music or video for Stories, or Reels, create a distortion in fair use of copyrighted content and remuneration received by owners.
To address this issue, Facebook has introduced in-product video notifications to alert users when Facebook systems detect that a broadcast or uploaded video may include music in a way that doesn’t adhere to the licensing agreements.
Facebook’s involvement in leveraging the social fabric of the platforms would amplify native formats in a way that artists would reach a potential audience with seamless integration in their content consumption. Here are a few initiatives by Facebook that cater to this stratagem.
During World Music Week, Facebook partnered with over 95 artists, singers, music composers across languages and genres including film, classical, ghazals, pop, indie, rap, hip-hop, for virtual concerts and more social experiences.
Independent Artists Program
The Program enables independent artists and creators to share their music across Facebook and Instagram products through Facebook, catering to artists who are not signed by major music labels. The program and a music delivery process via distributor partners allow artists to get their music across Facebook.