Despite raising some major red flags in the industry – not least the fact it’s hiring for every record label sector sans A&R – Facebook’s music strategy just became a little more permanent.
The social giant has appointed Jeremy Sirota as its label music business development manager, based in New York. If that name sounds familiar to you it’s because he was previously at Warner Music Group as SVP, Head of Business and Legal Affairs for its WEA and ADA divisions.
Sirota’s appointment is the latest in a host of new hirings at the company to assemble a team of music industry professionals. In January, Facebook named former WMG and YouTube exec Tamara Hrivnak as its Music Business Development and Partnerships Manager. Among other industry roles, it’s also hired a Legal Director, Music Licensing, and a North America Music Publishing Business Development Lead.
There’s still one card missing from Facebook’s digital music play
From where we stand, Facebook’s digital music team is fully fleshed out, but there is one thing missing in its strategy to take on YouTube: it still needs all the necessary music publisher/society licensing deals with the industry – an exercise apparently costing it hundreds of millions.
Given the fact Facebook users watched an average of 100 million hours of video on the platform every day (2016), the platform is essentially robbing music creators of royalties from monetisation.
Granted, with the launch of its Rights Manager admin tool (similar to YouTube’s Content ID), Facebook announced it was getting tough on “freebooting,” the dodgy practice where some businesses and celebs rip copyright-protected videos, repost them on its platform and grow their brands while robbing the content creators of views.