Facebook already has its hands in nearly every facet of entertainment and integration known to man, but its relationship with music has always been somewhat precarious. As NPR puts it, “Given the kaleidoscopic legal, contractual and statutory nature of music’s business, coordinating a technical and legal framework for Facebook’s 1.79 billion monthly users to engage with music as they’ve grown accustomed to in the digital age — meaning in any way, at any moment they wish — is practically Sisyphean.”
Now, Facebook is looking to try to bridge the gap between its nearly 2 billion person userbase and the music industry with the hire of Tamara Hrivnak, YouTube’s past director of music partnerships. The hope is that Hrivnak will be able to navigate the labyrinthine music industry for Facebook and develop deals with major labels that will allow users to interact with music on Facebook – that is, without leaving the site for a third-party publisher.
A source close told NPR that “Hrivnak’s primary role will be to lead Facebook’s global music licensing strategy, and to deepen relationships with the music industry more generally.” It was also said that rather than try to react to changes in the music industry as they’re happening, Facebook will be adopting a more proactive stance.
Facebook’s last foray into music is probably something you’ve seen for years now, but never knew had a name: Music Stories.
Introduced in 2015, these stories gave users 30 second clips of audio/songs, though as the EDM community knows from Souncloud, 30 second clips are hardly worth anything and users quickly lose interest.
Facebook pointed to Hrivnak’s post (above) when asked for clarification on her role, but if the social media company is to continue expanding into media and technology, music is one frontier that it needs to engage with.