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Music videos are reportedly coming to Facebook

This might not turn out good.

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Image: KnowTechie

Facebook wants to be the next MTV by inking a new deal with three major music companies for the right to stream music videos on its social media platform. Reported by Bloomberg, the deals are inked with Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group Corp, and Universal Music Group – ushering in a new age of shitty corporate partnership.

I mean, think about it. Facebook has knowingly misrepresented video views to advertisers and companies, killing off big brand names such as Funny or Die and College Humor. Who’s to say that the already-beleaguered music industry isn’t next? Music execs looking for a payout in the post-CD era turned to streaming music sites, and when those turned up to only pay a pittance, they’re now looking for another revenue stream.

I have to say, despite all of the reported offers of paying for production costs, this deal from Facebook isn’t going to be the savior of the music industry. Those costs paid would give Facebook an exclusive license to some of the biggest bands in the world, just based on the three music companies involved.

Now imagine the effects on the rest of the industry. Radio stations that can’t play those songs, music video channels that can’t broadcast the very bands that they rely on to bring advertisers in. YouTube, Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, et al., all not being able to license those individual tracks. What’s the net outcome? Facebook gobbling up the industry, just like it destroyed many profitable online sites.

All I have to ask is, what happened to not being a publisher, Facebook? Surely having the rights to stream copyrighted music videos puts you into the same category as TV stations or other media outlets that can then be held accountable by law for the content put on their programming. It’s not like you are YouTube, where they get around this by having the bands or music companies upload the content they still own full rights to, with YouTube providing indexing and storage only.

We can only hope this will backfire on Zuckerberg, who has long used the protections of Section 230 as an invincibility shield.

If anyone at one of the other music publishers is thinking of swallowing this poison pill, walk away. Talk to the founders of College Humor; see precisely what partnering with Facebook gets you.

Do you think this is a good move on Facebook’s part? Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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