It’s important to Facebook for several reasons:
- There’s money to be made there.
- There’s an audience to be gained.
- User-generated videos often contains music that neither Facebook nor the user has obtained rights too, leading to copyright violations.
- They want to court artists to post their original creations to Facebook to grab audience attention.
Television stations license music. Many pay per-use, but the majority pay a “blanket license” that includes fees for use in programs and incidental use, avoiding copyright fights and additional payments. Facebook may be looking to cut a similar deal to cover videos that include music.
Facebook is also working on a tech solution, similar to YouTube, which flags copyright material. The YouTube’s ID technology has had its ups and downs. The music industry has been critical of the tech, saying it often prevents artists from posting their own material, and that YouTube doesn’t do enough to policy piracy.
Facebook appears to be hoping to gain favor with the music industry by working out a deal in advance that makes everyone happy.