Music hasn’t been a huge priority on the Facebook platform until now, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to make you think that it will be in the future. The latest move in that direction involves Facebook acquiring rights management startup Source3, which specializes in analyzing branded intellectual property in user-generated content. But that’s not all that’s been happening between Facebook and its potential entry into the music space.
The company hired Tamara Hrivnak away from YouTube to become head of global music strategy back in January, and is currently looking to hire a Music Business Development Manager to lead negotiations with digital music services, as as well two other executives to deal with publishing. There’s also been rumblings that should Facebook work out it’s rights management issues, then the Vevo channel (owned by Sony Music and Warner Music Group) might even switch from YouTube to Facebook, although that’s a long shot since the channel is also partially owned by Google (who owns YouTube) as well.
The interesting thing here is that the two founders of Source3 have extensive publishing backgrounds, but also have worked in high-level positions with Google in the past. In fact, they were also the co-founders of music IP-focused rights management tool Rightsflow, which was sold to Google in 2011.
Facebook has hinted at getting into music in a bigger way in the past (most recently by CEO Mark Zuckerberg in an analysts call in the beginning of the year), but the company has never really had its rights management worked out so that all copyright holders would be adequately compensated. YouTube’s Content ID, while it does work, isn’t exactly the best example of how rights management should be done, so it seems like Facebook is reluctant to launch a similar feature until it’s better than the competition’s.
Now with the acquisition of Source3, the final pieces of the puzzle might be in place.