Facebook issued some confusing statements last week about its most recent updates to its music policy taking effect on 10/01/2020. Here's what they said:
Lots of musicians panicked reading these statements because they are so vague. It very much seems like Facebook is discouraging any content for the purpose of listening to music. It seemed like live concert streams, music videos, vlogs with music in them will be removed since they constitute a "listening experience" and possibly lead to musician accounts being throttled or deleted.
Since the backlash of users and multiple publications, Facebook has clarified that these statements only apply to specific situations and have been their official policy since 2018. So here's a quick list of what Facebook says should and shouldn't be ok.
Facebook has clarified that music videos will not be removed from it's platform as long as the upload contains video associated with the upload.
Bands uploading videos from a concert or streaming a concert live.
Facebook has clarified that showing clips from a concert is OK and even showing a concert in it's entirety is ok as long as there is video associated with it. Facebook has said that shorter videos are preferred.
It seems like Facebook will still allow solo and band performances of cover material for now.
What's Not Allowed:
Uploading a video with "background music" that you do not own or have permission to use.
DJing music you do not own.
Uploading songs or playlists that have no video or only a thumbnail image.
Uploading prerecorded albums (without video).
Facebook has said it will allow live performances but since DJ's use tracks that have already been recorded and in many cases did not write or do not own, it leaves a gray area. Are DJ's performing covers or are they uploading prerecorded tracks? Since the the Covid 19 quarantine lots of DJ's have experienced issues with Facebook's algorithms and experiencing strikes on their accounts, removal of videos and in some cases having their accounts deleted.
Music Videos As Playlists/Collection
Facebook has stated that the more prerecorded tracks a video has on it, the more likely it will be "limited." Since music videos are considered ok but album uploads are not it leaves a little confusion as to what Facebook would do with a collection of music videos in one upload.
What We've Learned About Social Media As Content Creators
Each social media platform is meant to be used differently and has advantages and disadvantages depending on what type of content you're creating. This is what we've observed so far.
Instagram favors good photography because it's about photography. Instagram pages tell stories through photos. Instagram is not meant for passing around information. It is only meant for showing the world what you're up to. There's no "Share" button instagram and there are no links to click on.
Youtube is meant for video. It's also the second most used search engine coming in behind Google. It's platform handles video better than any other major social media network. Live streams perform better and videos are clearer as it supports higher bit rates. In addition, it utilizes licensing of content very efficiently, protects artists from piracy and ensures that owners of content receive credit and useful notifications on their creations if someone else uses it later on with or without permission.
Facebook does a lot of things well and is a pretty good balance of photography and video but it favors sharing information. Facebook is meant for users to engage with each other and share content. We've found it's best for expressing ideas, discussing opinions and having conversations and it's algorithms seem to favor this as well. As artists we've noticed that viral posts on Facebook usually don't have much to do with our art and have more to do with our ideas.
Most people don't think of Spotify as "Social Media," but it very much checks the box for us as musicians. Spotify is only about music. While you can learn a little about the artist you're listening to directly on the platform (their current tour schedule, biography, social media links etc), those aspects are pretty limited but it's very valuable to create a "listening experience" for listeners and forge relationships between audio artists like musicians and podcasters with their listeners.
Patreon is meant to share exclusive paid content. It's very valuable to content creators as it allows them to share extra content with their subscribers in exchange for their financial support. Patreon is a very big part of how musicians and other content creators are able to survive in the digital age when merchandise sales or content sponsorships are not always enough to keep them going.
We'll be going in to a little more detail on this tonight for our 17th Episode of Van Philosophy Live Vlogcast. We started this live podcast because we were always trying to find things to talk about to pass the late night miles after a show on the way to next city. Be sure to subscribe to our channel and tune in Wednesday 09/16/20 @ 8pm/est. We'd love to get your thoughts and hear what you've been up to. So, get in the van and let's keep each other awake.
Special Thanks To Our Patrons on Patreon!
As independent artists you can imagine it's not the most lucrative job in the world. So, if you enjoy what we do and it has value to you please consider donating just $1 per month to us on Patreon. It really helps. There's multiple tiers and our $5 per month subscribers get a special request cover music video made just for them every month. There's even a tier to get your own private living room performance every month! Thanks to every one that's already participating:
Nancy B, Spencer R, Renee T, Steve B & Rachel E
and to our PayPal monthly donors: Jeff C, Nancy B & Grass Cutters
You are helping us continue to create music even though we're not able to be on the road this year due to Covid 19 and also helping us find new ways to reach more people online in ways we never would have thought of. Thanks for supporting us and showing you enjoy what we do. It means the world!
We know sometimes $10 bucks is just too much to spare. Believe us, we've been there. That's why for a very limited time our Live Acoustic EP, "Flat Tops & Wooden Boxes" is only $3.
And... For a limited time all of our premium tank tops are only $20!