No, Facebook isn't building an Apple Music rival
The social network will reportedly take aim at YouTube with News Feed music videos.
Facebook has big plans for music, but a streaming service isn’t on the agenda.
Instead, the social network is talking to the major record labels about licensing music videos to put in your News Feed. According to the New York Times, Facebook has no interest in taking on Apple Music or Spotify—its sights are set on YouTube, which has more than a billion users who rack up billions of video views per day.
Videos on Facebook garner more than a billion views per day, though the network uses autoplay, which likely sends that number higher than it would be otherwise. But Facebook has 1.4 billion monthly active users who might watch just as many videos as YouTubers do, if the content is there.
To grab eyeballs away from YouTube, Facebook wants to host music videos on its platform. It’s unclear how labels are responding to that proposal, given that two of the major ones, Universal and Sony, already have their own music video platform in Vevo. But Facebook could offer better revenue-sharing rates to labels and publishers than YouTube does, the Times noted, and would sweeten the deal by preventing unauthorized videos from popping up on the network.
Why this matters: Facebook is making a huge video play because clips keep people engaged in News Feed and video ads help the network rake in revenue. If the platform can nail down music videos, perhaps even exclusive premieres promoted by celebrities, it could be a win for artists, labels, fans, and, of course, Facebook. It’s probably a good thing the network isn’t planning to launch a streaming service—the last thing Facebook needs is yet another stand-alone app.