One of the powers of YouTube is that it allows creators to make money from the platform either by uploading original content, or more powerfully, by monetizing the videos when others use your content. This is all based on the service’s Content ID system that allows tracking of content that lets the rights hold then choose whether to monetize it or not. Facebook’s major failing so far is that its Rights Manager didn’t have a similar system in place – until now.
Rights Manager was able to track when someone was using your content, but there were only two options: they could either take the pirated video down, or leave it up for more reach and visibility.
Facebook has now added the ability to generate revenue from pirated video with a third monetization option that puts a mid-roll ad in the video. The revenue is then shared with the rights holder, who also gets to determine where in the video the 20 to 30 second ads will run.
Like YouTube, Facebook is paying 55% of the ad revenue to the rights holder. This split has been a bone of contention with the major labels, and they can’t be too happy with the fact that Facebook is matching the split rather than paying something closer to the industry standard 70%+ that streaming services pay.
Rights Manager is also not something that automatically comes with being on Facebook though. You have to apply for it first, which can be done here.
While the revenue division isn’t making the music industry jump for joy, the fact that there’s another income stream is. Not only that, Facebook seems to be gaining both strength and users while YouTube interest seems to be waning. Streaming has taken its toll on YouTube as a music source, but those same people that are now Spotify and Apple Music customers still remain on Facebook.
Ultimately, this is not a great deal, but it’s something that I think we should rejoice in. Any new revenue stream for artists is a good one.