The prospect of Facebook taking on the likes of Spotify and YouTube in the world of music streaming is no longer a matter of ‘if’ – it’s a matter of ‘when’.
Last month, MBW revealed that the social media giant was hiring for a Legal Director of Music Licensing, based at its HQ in Menlo Park, California.
This individual would, we learned, be working closely with Tamara Hrivnak – Facebook’s new global music strategy boss, and a well-respected exec with history at YouTube and Warner Music Group.
Today, MBW has discovered that Facebook is now recruiting for no less than three new senior music-focused roles at its US head office.
These include a Label Music Business Development Lead, who will be tasked with ‘leading Facebook’s strategy and negotiations’ with music labels throughout the world, as well as ‘collaborating with our product and media partnerships teams to ensure a coordinated and best-in-class licensing structure’.
“Work with Facebook’s product and partnerships teams to ensure a comprehensive music strategy that supports our efforts to make the world more connected.”
Tellingly, the successful candidate will also: ‘Work with Facebook’s product and partnerships teams to ensure a comprehensive music strategy that supports our efforts to make the world more connected on Facebook.’
The position requires 8+ years of experience in music partner relationship management (US and international) plus ‘digital music negotiation experience’.
Facebook is also hiring for two similar roles which focus on music publishing: North America Music Publishing Business Development Lead and International Music Publishing Business Development Lead.
The successful candidate for these two positions ‘will lead Facebook’s strategy and negotiations with international music publishers and societies’ in order to – and sorry to repeat ourselves – ‘ensure a coordinated and best-in-class licensing structure’.
Once again, the chosen recruits will: ‘Work with Facebook product and partnerships teams to ensure a comprehensive music strategy that supports our efforts to make the world more connected on Facebook.’
And, once again, each position requires 8+ years of experience in music partner relationship management – plus ‘digital music negotiation experience for musical compositions’.
So what’s Facebook cooking up?
The above hirings, added together with the Legal Director of Music Licensing vacancy plus newbie Tamara Hrivnak (pictured), would make a five-strong core music licensing executive team.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has previously said “the big theme and strategy that we’re executing is we’re going to become video first.”
Zuckerberg has also told shareholders that he believes creators of ‘premium’ video content “need to get paid a good amount in order to support the creation of that content”.
Meanwhile, Facebook is currently seeking a Product Manager to “lead the strategy and execution of Rights Manager, Facebook’s rights management platform for creators to manage copyrighted music and videos“.
MBW has previously suggested that the music industry could potentially strike a deal between Facebook and Vevo to help sate some of Zuckerberg’s ambitions.
However, could there be more to Facebook’s plot in music?
Doesn’t the description of a ‘comprehensive music strategy‘ rather suggest an audio, as well as video, element to any streaming launch?
Another open Facebook vacancy in California, for Head of Global Intellectual Property Operations, may give us a clue.
“special attention to evolving our management of risk concerns for ads, goods, music, and video will be key tenants of success.”
It reads: “With our focus on Media, Commerce, and Ads products on the rise, special attention to evolving our management of risk concerns for ads, goods, music, and video will be key tenants of success.”
See how ‘music and video’ are described as separate entities?
Elsewhere, a Business Development role being advertised by Facebook’s Virtual Reality hub Oculus adds further intrigue.
It says: “The Facebook Business Development team is responsible partnerships and large strategic deals across Facebook’s core business, Oculus, Advanced Machine Learning, internet.org, and Music.”
Here’s some pre-weekend food for thought.
Earlier this month, Spotify announced that it had reached 50m paying subscribers worldwide – a jump of 10m in less than six months.
The platform is believed to boast around 125m active users globally, making it the clear market leader in the music streaming space.
In December, Facebook confirmed that its Monthly Active User figure now stood at 1.86bn.
In order to accrue 50m paying music subscribers, it would need to convert less than 2.7% of this audience.
If you thought competition in the global music streaming market was intense today… you ain’t seen nothing yet.
This article can be found on Music Business Worldwide.