Well not exactly. The Grammy Awards offered a night of incredible entertainment and Spotify will deliver plenty of gratis tunes, but the days of Napster and Limewire filling up our growing iPod space are long gone. As the music industry has navigated the digital age, copyright infringement continues to be a top target for artist protection.
Remember when MySpace was the social network for independent and emerging bands? Now Facebook is making a push for a global music license. They want to dominate video content, which can often come with copyright pitfalls. Constant policing and battling users can be mitigated to a large extent by coming to an agreement with the music industry as Apple and Spotify have. The negotiations are complicated, but what I would love to see is a streamlined process for music licensing in user generated video. It would be a smart move by Facebook to offer new opportunities for users and secure relevancy with the rise of social video. As a marketer, it would be great to have a simple way to license rather than dealing with multiple copyright holders.
This year, the Grammy Awards were dominated by Instagram, which lined up a number of top artists for exclusive content and an exclusive video event channel for the Awards. While Instagram had the artists, Snapchat had a YouTube vlogger. Jack Baran curated a number of snaps and challenges on Grammy winner history that engaged younger audiences. Facebook Live broadcasted from the red carpet and Twitter went crazy for Beyoncé. Clearly music and social media are linked, so it makes sense to learn from the challenges of the last decade and for the music industry to be proactive in working with social channels.
As technology and communications rapidly change, the music industry must be innovative to protect the rights of its artists, but also realistic that it isn’t just putting out music in a new format. To address frustrations with YouTube and other networks they bemoan for lax approaches to copyright enforcement, negotiating licensing deals with social networks is the logical next step, and once again, Facebook may set the standard for the others to follow.