EditorialsPH Digital and Tech

Facebook to Roll Out Stricter Music Guidelines on October 1

Are you a musician or music curator on Facebook or Instagram? Pay attention – Facebook’s new rules might just put you out of business when the new guidelines roll out next month.

The social media platform recently posted a preview of its updated guidelines that touch upon the use of music and creating “listening experiences” on any Facebook product. Section 5 titled “Other terms and policies that may apply to you” on the of the updated guidelines links to a dedicated page concerning music.

“If you use videos on our Products to create a music listening experience for yourself or for others, your videos will be blocked and your page, profile or group may be deleted. This includes Live.”

“You may not be able to post or access videos containing music in every country of the world. We want you to be able to share videos with your family and friends wherever they are, but any music in your video, if it is allowed at all, may not be available in all countries of the world.”

Seeing that musicians have turned to Facebook to stream their gigs to stay afloat during the pandemic, these particular clauses were a cause for concern:

Kevin Breuner, SVP of Marketing and podcaster for CD Baby, made a Facebook post to clarify how the guidelines can easily be misinterpreted “These policies have been in place since 2018, but what they are trying to do is clarify what they mean by a “listening experience.” Basically, Facebook does not want users to try and turn the platform into Spotify or YouTube Music, where you open it up and push play, and then go about your business. They want content where people are actively engaged, watching, commenting, and sharing.”

Here are some instances where Facebook may flag your content:

  1. A video of a static image or album art image with music playing.
  2. String multiple music videos together to create a playlist type of experience.
  3. Start an FB live to stream a music playlist.

The new provisions do not necessarily mean that Facebook is cracking down on users that use licensed music in their videos but rather they are looking at implementing these measures to reduce legal o regulatory measures on their end as well as maintain user engagement on the platform. In an article posted in NME, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that the new guidelines will not affect artists using the site to livestream gigs or share music.

These guidelines will take effect starting on October 1st. It is not clear whether this will be used retroactively on existing content on Facebook or Instagram.

Facebook products affected by these guidelines: Facebook (including the Facebook mobile app and in-app browser), Messenger, Instagram (including apps like Direct and Boomerang), Portal-branded devices, Bonfire, Facebook Mentions, Facebook Shops, Spark AR Studio, Audience Network, and NPE Team apps.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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