Tag Archives for " Facebook "

Facebook To Start Running Mid-Video Ads

Facebook mid-video adsContent creators have been complaining about the fact that there’s no way to monetize their content on Facebook the way you can on YouTube. Those days look to be coming to an end, however, as industry insiders now say that Facebook will start testing mid-video ads soon. As with YouTube, the revenue from the ads will be shared with the content owner. The bad news is that the revenue split is the same as YouTube, with Facebook taking 45%, a figure that artists and labels feel is way too low.

The catch is that the viewer has to watch the video for 20 second before the ad runs. It will be interesting to see how many people abandon the video at that time. The length of the video must be at least 90 seconds long to be able to insert an ad.

Why, mid-video? Apparently that directive came from the top, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg hates pre-roll ads and forbid them from happening on Facebook videos.

This will again bring up the question of what exactly constitutes a “video view” on Facebook. Right now its any time a viewer watches a video for at least 3 seconds, even with the sound off or if she didn’t click on it. With the new 20 second metric, you can be sure that video views will be looked at differently in the future on the platform.

The good news here is the fact that Facebook will finally reward content creators with some revenue for sharing their work. The bad news is that the split is controversially low and will certainly be a major talking point in licensing discussions with labels and publishers.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 1/6/17

Music Industry News Roundup Happy New Year, and here’s the first Music Industry News Roundup of the year for the week of January 6th, 2017. We’re just coming off a major holiday and things are slowly ramping back up. Let’s see what happened.

The Blackstone Group acquires SESAC. Just think about that for a second. A big investment group now owns a performing rights organization.

SoundExchange could lose a lot of revenue this year. The government collection agency is losing out thanks to direct deals with labels and publishers by Pandora

Chinese giant Alibaba is about to spend over $7 billion on entertainment content. Move over Apple, Google, Amazon and Spotify – you’ve got competition and it has deep pockets.

It looks like Facebook is getting close to their own version of Content ID. That means that content creators can finally get paid for their music and videos playing on the service. Word is that it won’t actually be released until the Spring though.

Indie labels claimed 35% of the market last year. Good news for DIY artists and labels not affiliated with majors, but this is based on rights ownership, not revenue.

A vinyl pressing plant is going out of business. It’s pretty hard to do in this market environment, but Canada Boy Vinyl can’t make a go of it.

YouTube lost it’s dominance to streaming music. People are now finding streaming networks way more convenient than the YouTube experience.

A full-time YouTuber shows how much money he makes.  And of course he does it on YouTube. Doesn’t make all that much, but he’s not a very big channel either.

George Michael Best-Of Sales skyrocket. They improve by over 5,000% in the UK alone.

Speaking of the UK, the biggest album seller last year wasn’t a musical artist. It turns out it was a 56 year old game show host. Well, that’s probably the demo that still buys physical product.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Have a great 2017!

Facebook Looking For An In-House Composer

Facebook phoneIt looks like you can expect a lot more from Facebook in 2017 in more ways than one. The company is advertising for an in-house composer to add to its in-house sound design team. According to the advert:

The in-house Music Composer role requires 10+ years of professional experience in the music industry, plus experience in ProTools and the ability to “work closely with a wide variety of sound artists”.

“CANDIDATES MUST HAVE EXCEPTIONAL COMPOSITION SKILLS AND MASTERY OF MODERN PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES. THE ROLE COMBINES MUSICAL RECORDING AND COMPOSITION CHALLENGES WITH PROJECT MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP.”

The link turns out to be dead, which either suggests that the position is now filled, or that it was getting to much visibility. Facebook is under fire for still not having a way for artists, labels and publishers to get paid for songs and videos that are played on the network, so everyone is a little chagrined at the fact that the company is trying to develop what looks to be in-house production music first.

That said, rumors still persist that 2017 will be the year that FB finally puts their own version of YouTube’s Content ID in place, which will compensate creators when their works are played on the platform.

This is much more problematic than it sounds given the fact that Facebook measures video views much more liberally than YouTube, so potentially it will be paying out more as a result, even if the royalty rate is the same as YouTube. The royalty will undoubtedly be higher though, since the music industry views YouTube’s 45% cut way too high and out of line with the other delivery systems, so any license from the major labels or publishers will no doubt go beyond that rate.

That said, it should be interesting to see exactly what Facebook has in mind for its new composer in residence, and how the sound design team will be implemented.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 12/23/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of December 23rd, 2016. Surprisingly enough, there’s a lot of music business-related and social news this week, despite the Holiday season.

iHeart Radio is in big financial trouble. Radio is dying in general, and a few years ago when the hedge funds bought in they didn’t realize that fact. The company probably won’t change much because of the problems (at least in the short term) but the investors will take a haircut soon.

Apple Music is trying to become more than a streaming platform. It’s now more of a quasi-label, offering lots of promotion in addition to streaming. This interview with two Apple Music execs is revealing.

Not to be outdone, YouTube is quietly beefing up promotion for some artists as well. Not that it helps the indie artist much, but you can see where all this going. [subscription required]

There are indie artists making it on streaming alone though. Yes, it’s not only possible, but this article outline a number of indie artists in different countries with massive streaming numbers.

The VR revolution is here, but it has yet to break with consumers. Many think that this will change in 2017, but the consumer uptake so far is disappointing, and understandable.

Dance music hit a big speed bump in 2016. This article outlines 11 things that broke the hearts of EDM aficionados.

The album cycle is pretty much dying, with Drake the perfect example of the new singles paradigm. But playlisting plays a big part in streaming success as well, and this interview with Spotify’s Troy Carter is enlightening.

Streaming is changing music again, finally making the Long Tail concept viable. This Harvard Business Review article shows how streaming is turning the music industry into a singles business, and is killing the album. Oh, and more people are listening to music other than the hits along the way.

Streaming apps aren’t keeping pace, and user experience is the thing to concentrate on. Industry analyst Mark Mulligan makes a number of good points about music falling behind in engagement to non-music apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Buzzfeed.

Twitter is toast, according to one financial analyst. The company is experiencing plateaued growth and a brain drain, and the stock is expected to take a dive soon.

Finally, Facebook is correcting its metrics for ad reach, streaming reactions, Likes and Shares. It looks like the numbers we were seeing weren’t really true after all. If you advertise on Facebook, you should read this article before placing another ad.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.

November 28, 2016

4 Rules To Avoid Your Fans Wrath On Facebook

Facebook logoIf you’re an artist or band and you’re on Facebook, you want to make that audience grow and keep them engaged. The problem is that there are right and wrong ways to do this. Choose the wrong way and you either look like a schmuck or even worse, anger your fanbase. Here are 4 rules to follow on Facebook that will keep you out of trouble with those fans. They’re simple and easy, all you have to do is follow them.

1. Don’t Like your own post. This just looks bad and doesn’t serve any real purpose. It won’t help your Like count and it just feels like you’re patting yourself on the back for how smart you are. You’re not like that, so don’t do it.

2. Don’t post or tag photos of fans, crew or venue employees without their permission. You might think that the people will be flattered, and that may be true for most, but there’s always someone that’s there discretely and wants to keep it that way. Just ask permission first. Want to be even safer? Get written permission with a short release form.

3. Don’t tag people or pages that aren’t relevant to you. This one personally steams me the most. I just hate it when someone tags me in a photo that I wasn’t involved with in an effort to get me to check it out. It’s just bad form, doesn’t accomplish the task, and angers your followers, so don’t do it.

4. Don’t ask for Likes, Comments, or Share. This one is sort of borderline in that there’s an acceptable way and an unacceptable way to do it. First of all, it’s against Facebook’s terms to ask for a Like, although people do it all the time. A better way to do this, and also keeps it within FB’s terms of use, is through through a Facebook promotions company like Woobox. This allows you to set up contests or giveaways that hopefully will result in more Likes or Shares. You pay for it, but it’s a much more elegant and legal way to accomplish the same thing. As for Comments, the best way to get more is to ask more questions. Works every time.

Follow these 4 rules and you’ll not only stay out of trouble with your fans and followers, but look a whole lot more professional in doing so as well.

You can find more social media tips and tricks from my Social Media Promotion for Musicians book.

Music Industry News Roundup For The Week Of 11/11/16

Music Industry News Roundup Here’s the Music Industry News Roundup for the week of November 11th, 2016. The news was rather slow this week, probably due to the election. That said, there’s still plenty of news, especially on the record label front. Let’s get into it.

Universal Music’s streaming revenue has topped $1 billion this year already. And streaming is just getting going. The problem is, how much of that is trickling down to the artist and songwriter?

Sony Music wants the crown as the biggest. So it’s planning more acquisitions this year. Check out the executive slide show that Music Business Worldwide managed to get.

Sony’s streaming income increased as well. Not as much as Universal, but growing nonetheless.

Capitol Records celebrates its 75th anniversary. It drops a unique anniversary collection series of 75 albums by some of it’s greatest artists, including The Beatles, Sinatra, Coldplay, Katy Perry and many more.

Facebook is morphing into a next generation media company. That’s the only way left to grow, according to analyst Mark Mulligan, but there seems to be a clear vision on the way forward.

Record Store Day is expanding to Black Friday. New releases coming from Jimi Hendrix, Run-DMC, Bob Dylan and South Park.

Vevo let users turn music videos into GIFs. YouTube’s biggest competitor rolls out a new feature. I don’t think that anyone will particularly care.

The iPod launched 15 years ago last week. Boy, it changed a lot and here’s how.

9 things we learned about the future of the music business. Don’t know if I agree with them all, but they’re worth considering.

That’s the Music News Roundup of what went on in the music industry last week. Let’s see what next week brings.

October 27, 2016

3 Reasons Why Your Music Isn’t Being Listened To

3 Reasons Why Your MusicIf you’ve released some music recently and are surprised at how low the stream or view counts are, there are a lot of things that you can blame, but probably most of them aren’t at fault. Before you can fix the problem, you have to look inward first. Here are 3 reasons why your music probably isn’t being listened to, but take heart, there are solutions.

1. You haven’t found your audience yet.

Don’t let anyone tell you that your music sucks. There is a audience for what you do out there, although it may end up being smaller than you’d like, but you just have to find it first. How? If you have any fans already, ask them or your friends what your music reminds them of. If they mention a type of music or a particular artist, go hang out on those forums or groups, or follow those artists. Their audience is also your potential audience. Try an inexpensive Facebook or Twitter ad campaign ($3 to 5 per day) targeting those audiences. If your music resonates as it does with your current fans, you’ll have more new fans before you know it. Remember that this is a long process that happens over time though. You won’t get a huge following overnight, but it can be slow and steady.

2. You haven’t explored all of your distribution options.

You can’t just upload your songs to Tunecore or Distrokid and think you’re done. Videos are an important part of the mix for any artist, so make sure that you have both YouTube and Facebook videos available. In fact, upload your videos to Facebook and then promote them in the Ad Manager (don’t use Boost). You’ll be surprised at the reach you’ll get since Facebook favors videos over static posts these days. Can’t afford a big production? Don’t worry about it. A lyric video or even just a picture of you or your band over the music can perform just as well as a full-fledged music video.

3. Your online presence is insufficient.

It’s surprising how many artists are content to have a Facebook page as their online identity and nothing more. You really need a dedicated website as it’s the only thing online that you can truly control 100%. It’s the place for your bio, contact info, press pictures (meaning for the press if they write an article about you), upcoming gigs, videos, and music. It’s also the best place to get people to sign up for your mailing list (which may be your most important online tool). Yes, you need a presence on at least one social network (Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook – wherever your fans hang out), but make sure you take care of the basics first.

These 3 reasons may not be the only ones that keep the right people from finding your material, but taking them seriously will move your project forward a surprising amount.

For more information on how to build your online infrastructure, check out my Music 4.1 online music guidebook.

How Fan’s Video Copies Sold Adele’s “Hello”

Hello video copiesWe all know how powerful video can be when it comes to having a hit, but a recent analysis of Adele’s “Hello” by Pexeso really drives the point home that video copies play a huge part in fan awareness. The site tracked the hit song over a period of 101 days, starting on its October 22nd release date on YouTube, and found out a lot about the popularity of video on various social platforms.

  • First of all, more than 60,000 copies of “Hello” were found across eight popular social media platforms. 45% were published on YouTube, while Facebook accounted for 29% of copies, followed by Vine, which accounted for 12.9%.
  • Even though Facebook had far fewer copies published than YouTube, Facebook still garnered over 2x more video views than YouTube. According to the site, Facebook racked up an average of 73,083 views per video, whereas each YouTube video of the song amassed an average of 23,095 views per video . Vine actually ranked higher than YouTube, with an average of 49,904 views per video. Of course, as you’ve seen by my recent article on the subject, all platforms measure what a view is differently, with Facebook being particularly generous in that regard.
  • Facebook was the leader in terms of engagement though, with 41,436,124 cumulative likes and shares on all video copies, and 15,634,315 on the original. Believe it or not, Google+ came in at second place with 1,715,636 engagements on video copies and 1,496,299 on the original. While it may seem a little lopsided that copies of the song beat out the official uploaded song, remember that there were far more user-generated copies available. One thing here that was surprising is that copies of the music video received over 2.5x more engagement than the source video over the course of the survey.
  • Speaking of copies, the official video was copied and uploaded extremely fast. It took just 2 minutes and 7 seconds after “Hello’s” music video was published to Adele’s VEVO channel on YouTube for the first copy to appear on Facebook. It took slightly longer  for YouTube, at 3 minutes and 12 seconds later. 18 minutes and 48 seconds after its initial release, the first Vine clip of “Hello” surfaced.
  • Despite all you hear about YouTube and the record labels being tough on piracy, only 16.9%  of the 60,055 copies of “Hello” that were located were removed via takedown request. 36% of those takedowns came via YouTube, but they accounted for only 13% of the 27,033 total copies published to the site.

This is indeed a strange new video world we live in that’s asymmetrical in nature. It can’t be assumed that the results on one platform will be matched by another, or that one is better than another. One thing’s for sure, if the fans like your song or music video, it will for sure make it’s way onto every available social platform available.

[photograph: Egghead06 via Wikipedia]

How Video Views On Various Platforms Are Counted

video viewsVideo views are an important measurement for not only artists and bands, but record labels, advertisers and sponsors. A high number of views can lead to not only to label and sponsor interest, but also has a snowball effect of more viewers wanting to watch as well. When it comes to monetizing video views though, the problem is that most services like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat all measure what they consider a “view” differently.

According to an article on Business Insider, there are 4 factors that determine a view:

1. Whether the video autoplays or was user initiated

2. The required amount of time spent watching the video

3. The amount of video that’s on the screen

4. Whether the video is played in the app or embedded in another site

Let’s look at what the qualifications for a view are on some popular platforms:

  • Facebook is the most liberal with what it considers a view. If a video is autoplayed for just 3 seconds, and it’s 100% on the screen for desktop or 50% for mobile, it’s considered a view.
  • For Snapchat, as soon as a video is played, even with autoplay, it’s considered a view if it’s 100% in view and played in the app.
  • With Instagram, if the video is played for 3 seconds either in the feed or upon opening a story, and it’s 100% in view in the app only, it’s considered a view.
  • For Twitter, the video can be autoplayed, and as long as it’s watched for 3 seconds and is 100% in view either on mobile or desktop, it’s considered a view. This counts across all platforms and embedded posts as well.
  • For Vine, autoplayed Vines that are watched all the way through are considered a view, but only user-initated are counted for longer videos as long as a certain % of the total video is spent watching. The videos must be 50% in view for Vine, and 100% on Twitter.
  • YouTube is much tougher than any of the above. The video has to be user initiated, and it has to be viewed an indeterminate % of the total video length. For advertisers, it has to be 50% in view, but that includes all devices, all platforms, and embedded posts.

As you can see, not all views are equal and some of the view numbers you see can be taken with a grain of salt as a result.

October 6, 2016

The Best Times To Post On Social Media

best times to postWhen it comes to social media promotion, the time of day that you post can be just as critical as the content that you’re posting. There are some generally accepted post times that apply to the various networks, but some new research has tweaked those a little. Hubspot took a look and came up with the best times to post.

Remember that we’re looking at primarily a United States audience. It’s best to combine Eastern and Central time zones, since that represents almost 80% of the U.S. population, so all the times below are Eastern. Obviously, for audiences located outside the U.S. you’d use the time zone that your audience is in. Let’s get into it.

1) The Best Times to Post on Facebook

The overall best time to post on Facebook is 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, but other good times include 12:00–1:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and 1:00–4:00 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays, and weekdays from 1:00–4:00 p.m. tend to see the highest clickthrough rates. Although the research says that Facebook use spikes by 10% on Fridays, I’ve personally not seen that happen. In fact, Friday always seems to be the worst day of the week for engagement, at least for me. The overall worst times tend to be before 8:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m.

2) The Best Times to Post on Twitter

The best times to post on Twitter are weekdays from 12:00–3:00 p.m. and at 5:00 p.m. The overall best day to post is again Wednesday and the weekends, which is also when the clickthrough rate is highest. According to the article, some businesses have also had success with 2:00–3:00 a.m., 6:00–7:00 a.m., and 9:00–10:00 p.m. post times, although I’ve personally found those times (except for 6a.m.) to be dead.

3) Best Times to Post on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is used by professionals, and they tend to use it mostly during working hours, and just before the workday starts or after it ends. That means that the best time to post is midweek from 5:00–6:00 p.m. Other optimal times include Tuesdays from 10:00–11:00 a.m., and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 7:30–8:30 a.m., at 12:00 p.m., and from 5:00–6:00 p.m.

As for the best day, Tuesdays tend to see the most clicks and shares, especially between 10:00–11:00 a.m., while Mondays and Friday’s see lower engagement rates than the rest of the workweek, which is typical of most social media. As you would expect, the worst time to post on LinkedIn is during the night, between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

4) Best Times to Post on Instagram

The best times to post on Instagram are Mondays and Thursdays at any time except between 3:00–4:00 p.m., which is a surprise. Videos tend to perform best any night of the week between 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., according to TrackMaven’s research, which is also a surprise.

These may be some times that work for others, but they may not work for you. It’s still best to use the above times as a guideline, and check other times as well to find the ones that best fit your audience.