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News October 27, 2015

Facebook to take on YouTube with ad-supported music videos?

Facebook to take on YouTube with ad-supported music videos?

Facebook seems ready to take on YouTube with ad-supported full-length music videos.

Reports from the US suggest that the social media giant has been in licensing negotiations with the major labels.

It is apparently planning to conduct a test until the end of the year. The labels will choose the videos to be offered. Rights holders will get 55% of the ad revenue split and Facebook 45%. It is the same deal that YouTube offers. The trial will work around a “suggested videos” feature that will pop up when people watch a native video on Facebook.

These talks with labels, and a further move into music, are part of an overall strategy to keep users longer on the site. Facebook is planning to go into partnership with media companies as Fox Sports, the NBA, Hearst, Funny or Die and Tastemade for professionally-created footage and news items. These companies will be part of Facebook’s six-month test.

Facebook, which has 1.44 billion monthly active users, claims 4 billion native videos are watched on the site each day. Its problem is the amount of copyrighted videos that are also uploaded. These are immediately flagged and deleted as Facebook has no licensing in place yet. YouTube, on the other hand, is already in partnership with some labels, and has a Content ID tool, and is appealing to content creators.

During a question and answer session earlier this week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said he believes video will soon be even more important than photos.

The discussions with labels – still in an early stage —has also lead to speculation that Facebook is contemplating a music streaming service.


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