Facebook accused of misleading advertisers over growth in video usage

After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a new problem has come knocking at the door of Facebook. Online marketing agency Crowd Siren is taking legal action against the social networking and, based on reviewing 80,000 pages of internal Facebook records, is claiming it knew about inflated metrics around video view times as early as 2015. “[Facebook] […]

Facebook Portal smart speakers include Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio partnerships

Facebook has finally unveiled its first two smart speakers: the Portal and Portal+. Well, we say smart ‘speakers’ – like Amazon’s Echo Show, these devices have screens built in too. Facebook’s new devices are available initially in the US, pre-orderable from today and shipping in November. They use Amazon’s Alexa for their voice-control features, while […]

Facebook launches Premieres interactive-video format

Facebook has announced the official launch of its ‘Premieres’ format, which enables people to “release a pre-recorded video as a live moment” on the social network. The idea being that new videos can be turned in to fan events, complete with pre-publicity and a chat window for interactions while it’s airing. Premieres can be scheduled up to […]

WhatsApp co-founder joins the fray over Facebook culture

This week’s news that Instagram’s two co-founders are leaving the company sparked several reports on the tensions between them and parent company Facebook. Now the co-founder of another prominent Facebook acquisition, WhatsApp, has joined the fray. Brian Acton left Facebook 10 months ago, and has already made his feelings clear on the social network with […]

Facebook and Messenger stories now have 300m daily users

The ‘stories’ format within social apps is now a pillar of the social-media world, having been pioneered by Snapchat, then copied and developed by Instagram and others. Facebook included: it has ‘stories’ in its main app as well as Facebook Messenger, although they aren’t talked about that much compared to Snapchat and Instagram’s versions. Anyway, […]

UK broadcasters call for more regulation of internet firms

In a year of enhanced scrutiny of internet companies, the latest example is a group of British broadcasters lobbying for Facebook, Google and Twitter to face more regulation by a new watchdog created specifically for the purpose. The post UK broadcasters call for more regulation of internet firms appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music […]

What is Social Music in the Streaming Age?

Music IS social, and it always has been. We talk (and argue!) about it; we watch concerts together; go clubbing together; experience it as a communal soundtrack for birthday parties and religious worship and much, much more… Any over-confident tech startup promising to ‘make music social’ is drunk on their own disruption. But of course, […]

Researcher suggests Facebook is working on ‘Talent Show’ feature

Could the world’s biggest social network have plans to park its tanks on the X Factor and The Voice’s lawns? Researcher Jane Manchun Wong has uncovered what may be plans for a new Facebook feature called ‘Talent Show’ by digging around in the code of its app. “Wong has discovered an interface that allow users […]

Facebook opens China ‘innovation hub’ despite being blocked

“There are three reasons I decided to learn Chinese,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told a Chinese audience (in Mandarin) back in October 2014. “The first, my wife is Chinese. Her grandmother can only speak Chinese. When I told her in Chinese I was going to marry Priscilla, she was very shocked. Then I want to study Chinese […]

Sandbox Issue 208: Making Micro Waves

Lead: In an age of constant digital distractions, sometimes it is better to play the short game. We trace the rise of the micro ad and how it is being tailored to stand out when users are rapidly hopping and grazing across a variety of platforms. Can the “three-second rule” help advertising and marketing make its impact felt in a time of constant distractions? We look […]

Top-10 social profiles have thousands of impersonators

Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez are among the musicians with the largest followings on social networks – but also those with the greatest number of impersonators. That’s according to the New York Times, which commissioned a company called Social Imposter to research the number of people pretending to be one of the top 10 accounts […]

Years & Years preview new album with Facebook Camera effects

The latest element in artist Years & Years’ campaign for their new album ‘Palo Santo’ is a set of augmented-reality ‘effects’ for Facebook’s Camera feature. Fans using the camera to record video selfies can trigger one of 11 different effects based on the album’s artwork – with the visuals overlaid as they film their clips. According […]

Instagram stories now have 400m users… and licensed music to soundtrack them

Instagram has announced its latest milestone tonight: more than 400 million people are using its ‘stories’ feature every day to share photos and video clips on an ephemeral basis. There’s also a new feature for those people to play with: music. Instagrammers can now add music to their stories, thanks to Facebook’s recent set of […]

Facebook makes its case for not being a social monopoly

US Senate and House committees recently sent Facebook more than 2,000 questions about how it operates its business, as part of the fallout from the recent Cambridge Analytics revelations. Overnight, the social network provided its answers, with the full document well worth a read (alright: a scan, if you’re busy). One answer is particularly interesting: Facebook making […]

Merlin turns 10 and celebrates indies: ‘We’re over-indexing’

Independent licensing agency Merlin is celebrating its tenth birthday by revealing that 2017 saw its highest number of new members since its first year of operation. The organisation has grown from a team of three when it launched in May 2008 to 21 staff now, servicing tens of thousands of independent labels. It also paid […]

Facebook AI team creates ‘universal music translation network’

The music industry has been abuzz with speculation about what, exactly, Facebook has planned for music beyond its first set of user-generated-content focused licensing deals. Few people have suggested that the social network’s agenda includes using artificial intelligence for “translating music across musical instruments, genres, and styles”. However, that’s exactly what a team within Facebook’s […]

MelodyVR to launch its VR music app ‘in the coming weeks’

After a lengthy beta-test period and a succession of licensing deals with music companies, VR music startup MelodyVR is preparing for its commercial launch. In an announcement this morning, the publicly-listed company revealed that it “intends to launch its flagship music product (The MelodyVR app) in the coming weeks”, including a version for Facebook’s upcoming […]

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: ‘We will dig through this hole’

Mark Zuckerberg’s apology tour of the media continues, with an interview with website Vox about Facebook’s recent data controversies. “I think we will dig through this hole, but it will take a few years,” said Zuckerberg. “I wish I could solve all these issues in three months or six months, but I just think the […]

Facebook shuts down its ‘partner categories’ for ad-targeting

Facebook has announced that it’s shutting down its ‘partner categories’ ad-targeting feature. “This product enables third party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook,” explained the social network in a brief blog post. “While this is common industry practice, we believe this step, winding down over the next six months, will help improve […]

Facebook reportedly delays unveiling its smart speakers

More Facebook/privacy news – and stop us if this sounds familiar – the social network reportedly WON’T be unveiling its new hardware products at its f8 developer conference in May, as planned. As we predicted earlier this week, the ongoing revelations about how startup Cambridge Analytica accessed and used data on up to 50 million […]

Messenger bot makers reveal ‘pause’ in new bot launches

Want to launch a new Facebook Messenger bot in the next few weeks? Good luck with that. As part of the fallout from the ongoing Cambridge Analytica revelations, the social network has “paused” app reviews while it implements changes to its platform. It has now emerged that this also applies to the approval of all […]

Instagram music’s Lauren Wirtzer Seawood talks artists, fans, stories

“The reality, particularly for artists, is that people want to feel like they can connect with you. And it’s really hard to connect when you’re perfect all the time…” It’s interesting that Lauren Wirtzer Seawood is saying this, given that she’s the head of music partnerships at Instagram – a social-media platform that’s still seen […]

Cambridge Analytica exposés put Facebook in the spotlight

If you haven’t read this weekend’s articles about data-analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, it’s well worth spending 10 minutes with this piece from the Guardian and/or this piece from the New York Times. Then, perhaps, another five minutes revoking the access to your Facebook account for every unknown-developer personality test app you’ve ever completed on the […]

Sony shows off virtual-reality music video for Khalid

When it comes to experimenting with virtual-reality technology, Sony Music has one advantage over other labels: its relationship with Sony’s consumer-electronics division, with its PlayStation VR headset. We’ve seen that relationship work last year with a VR experience for classical musician Joshua Bell, but now in 2018 it’s rising star Khalid getting the virtual treatment. […]

Facebook signs licensing deals with Sacem, Socan and Wixen

Facebook’s music-licensing efforts continue apace, with the announcement of three more deals this weekend. The social network now has agreements with French collecting society Sacem; Canadian PRO Socan; and music publisher Wixen Music Publishing. As with Facebook’s other recent deals, these are licensing agreements covering user-generated content across Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger and Oculus VR. […]

Pew Research: 73% of US adults use YouTube, while 68% use Facebook

The Pew Research Center’s surveys of Americans are well-respected, so its new study of social-media habits is well worth perusing today, to see some of the trends at work. Facebook remains the top platform overall, used by 68% of American adults according to the survey, with around three quarters of them logging in every day. […]

Facebook signs licensing deal with processing-hub ICE

The music agreements keep coming for Facebook, which now has a deal with online licensing and processing hub ICE – the joint venture between European collecting societies PRS for Music, STIM and GEMA. “The licence covers Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and Messenger and provides online music licensing for over 290,000 rightsholders, across 160 territories,” explained ICE […]

eMarketer claims Facebook is losing more younger users

‘Young people are ditching Facebook’ is a tech-industry trope that’s been running for at least five years now, without yet having an obvious impact on the social network’s growth or revenues. However, eMarketer’s latest report at least has data to back up its claim: “This year, for the first time, less than half of US […]

Facebook’s viral crackdown sees time spent on service fall

It’s unusual to see a company proudly announcing in its quarterly financial results that people have been using it less. But Mark Zuckerberg’s 2018 goal of focusing more on ‘time well spent’ on Facebook makes it an unusual case. “Already last quarter, we made changes to show fewer viral videos to make sure people’s time […]

Facebook promises to redesign “too cluttered” Messenger app

2017 was a good year for Facebook Messenger, as the social network’s own-brand messaging app grew to 1.3 billion monthly active users. However, its boss David Marcus has admitted to one downside in his annual blog post predicting trends for the year ahead. “Over the last two years, we built a lot of capabilities to […]

Facebook confirms plans to focus more on ‘personal moments’

Rumours have been bubbling for several months that Facebook was planning a shift for its news feed back towards ‘personal’ content from friends and family, rather than ‘public’ posts and content from brands and media. Now CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed the changes, which he says are part of the social network’s determination to make […]

Facebook signs music deals for Irving Azoff’s GMR, Kobalt and indie publishers

Facebook’s latest music-licensing deal, following its agreements with Universal Music Group and Sony/ATV, is something a corker: it’s with Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights. That would be the Irving Azoff who’s regularly castigated YouTube in recent times over its licensing and royalty payments? The very same. “Today, we are excited to announce that Global Music […]

Facebook hires more music executives for biz-dev and licensing

Fresh from the pre-Christmas news of its first licensing deal, with Universal Music, Facebook has continued to build out its music team, with former Googlers looming large. Among Facebook’s latest hires: Joe Bognanno, former manager of music content partnerships at Google and also director of royalties at SoundCloud, who is now Facebook’s commercial music publishing […]

Facebook signs Universal Music licensing deal for music, video and more

Music labels and publishers have spent much of 2017 wondering what Facebook’s plans were for licensing music. Today the social network announced its first major-label licensing deal, with Universal Music Group. The companies are describing this as a “global, multi-year agreement” that will license Universal’s recorded-music and publishing catalogues for “video and other social experiences […]

Facebook hires former WMG exec Jeremy Sirota for labels role

Facebook has taken its latest step forward in its path towards music-licensing. the social network has appointed Jeremy Sirota as its label music business development manager, operating out of New York. Sirota joined the company from Warner Music Group this month according to his LinkedIn profile. His last role at WMG was as SVP, head […]

Sandbox Issue 191: Ad ons

Lead: With so much music now being ostensibly free at the point of consumption, advertising is expected to do a lot of the heavy lifting for the digital content industries. As such, the nature and forms of advertising have had to rapidly evolve and expand. Today, ad campaigns must adapt to the vagaries of the […]

Big Shaq gets an augmented-reality Facebook Camera effect

In our recent report on augmented reality technology, we suggested that rather than launching standalone AR apps for artists, labels would do better exploring some of the AR features in the big social apps. Now Island Records has offered a new example with the biggest social app of all: Facebook. The label has launched a […]

Facebook revenues up 47% while net profit grows by 79%

Facebook has announced another strong set of quarterly financials, with the company’s revenues growing by 47% year-on-year to $10.33bn in the third quarter of 2017. The social network reported a net profit of $4.71bn for the quarter, up 79% year-on-year. The latest user numbers: Facebook daily active users were up 16% to 1.37bn, while monthly […]

Facebook tests relegating page posts to secondary news feed

In recent years, we’ve regularly covered claims by digital marketers that posts from their pages are seeing their ‘organic’ (i.e. not paid for) reach decline. Less of their fans are seeing their posts unless they pay to boost their reach. But now imagine a world where page posts are scrubbed from Facebook’s main news feed […]

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