Facebook explains its crackdown on live “music listening experiences”

DJs are among the most likely to be impacted by Facebook's licensing rules

14.09.20

Words by: Billy Ward

Facebook has issued a statement clarifying its rules on live-streaming music, ahead of some new terms and conditions coming into effect next month.

The platform’s Music Guidelines state: “We want you to be able to enjoy videos posted by family and friends. However, 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.”

“If you post content that contains music owned by someone else, your content may be blocked, or may be reviewed by the applicable rights owner and removed if your use of that music is not properly authorized.”

A Facebook spokesperson has pointed out that the music guidelines have been in place since 2018, however, they had previously not clarified what a “music listening experience” is.

Confusion over a new update has raised concerns in the music community about the future of live-streaming on the platform, with DJs among most likely to be impacted by Facebook’s licensing crackdown.

During a time when the majority of music venues are closed, DJs and artists have become significantly more reliant on live-streaming as a way to stay connected with their audience and play shows, however, a new statement from Facebook has revealed that some people’s ability to live-stream music may be in jeopardy, depending on its content.

“As part of our licensing agreements, there are limitations around the amount of recorded music that can be included in Live broadcasts or videos. While the specifics of our licensing agreements are confidential, today we’re sharing some general guidelines to help you plan your videos better”, the statement read.

Music in stories and traditional filming of an artist performing a show may be permitted, however, they explained that: “the greater the number of full-length recorded tracks in a video, the more likely it may be limited. Shorter clips of music are recommended. There should always be a visual component to your video; recorded audio should not be the primary purpose of the video.”

“These guidelines are consistent across live and recorded video on both Facebook and Instagram, and for all types of accounts — i.e. pages, profiles, verified and unverified accounts”, they added.

The music guidelines will not affect artists using the site to livestream gigs or share their own music, however, those playing songs that don’t belong to them will be targeted under the rules going forward.

Read next: You can now take DJing as a GCSE