In a recent announcement, Meta will be rolling out Reels on Facebook in more than 150 countries in iOS and Android apps with banner and sticker ads being placed as overlays on Reel videos and video creators earning a share of the revenues.
YouTube, for the first time, will hold its annual Brandcast event during TV’s upfront week on May 17 with an option to livestream the show. This means the advertising event will be held alongside similar events held by The Walt Disney Co., NBCUniversal, and more. YouTube vp Debbie Weinstein wrote in a blog post this week that it will “feature top creators and music talent”.
The RMLC and ASCAP have reached an interim licensing agreement as both parties continue to work toward a long-term deal. The previous licensing deal covered 2017 through 2021, and expired on Dec. 31, 2021. The RMLC, also known as the Radio Music License Committee, represents roughly 10,000 US radio stations and uses blanket licenses to cover the use of songs on those stations.
In this newsletter:
- Facebook Reels Go Global with More Ways for Creators to Earn
- YouTube Invades TV’s Upfront Week
- Radio Licensing Group Reaches Interim Agreement with ASCAP
- US Copyright Office Rejects Appeal Over AI Authorship in Art
- YouTube is “Really Focused” on Helping Users Find Live Streams, Says Neal Mohan
Now, the details...
Compiled by Heidi Seo
Exploration Weekly - February 25, 2022
Facebook Reels Go Global with More Ways for Creators to Earn
Meta recently announced that it will be crossing over Reels, which began on Instagram, to its other services, including Facebook. Reels have been on Facebook for a while, but this week the feature is rolling out in more than 150 countries in the social network’s iOS and Android apps. And ads are going to be a key part of the rollout: banner and sticker ads that can be placed as overlays on Reel videos, with the video creators earning a share of the revenues. With music licensing deals underpinning growth in the short-video space, the competition will be good for rights holders and musicians, although there is also a lively debate to be had about how transparent these deals are, in terms of knowing exactly what music is being used, and dividing the royalties paid by these services fairly between musicians.
YouTube Invades TV’s Upfront Week
For the first time, YouTube will hold its annual Brandcast advertising event during TV’s upfront week, giving the Google-owned digital-video giant stage space alongside The Walt Disney Co., NBCUniversal, Paramount, and others. YouTube said this week that it will hold its event on Wednesday, May 17 with an option to livestream the show for those that can’t make it. Brandcast has for years been the closing event of the IAB Newfronts. The company will still participate in this year’s newfronts (in fact it will be the principal sponsor), but will shift to host a smaller event focused on creator economy insights in partnership with MediaLink on May 2. In a blog post published Wednesday titled “YouTube is the Main Stream,” YouTube vp Debbie Weinstein wrote that the event will “feature top creators and music talent,” and added that according to Nielsen data, YouTube now “accounts for over 50% of ad-supported streaming watch time on connected TVs among people ages 18 and up.
Radio Licensing Group Reaches Interim Agreement with ASCAP
The Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) announced that it has reached an interim licensing agreement with ASCAP as both parties continue to work toward a long-term deal. RMLC represents roughly 10,000 US radio stations during negotiations with performance rights organizations such as ASCAP and BMI for blanket licenses that cover the use of songs on those stations. The RMLC’s previous license agreement with ASCAP covered 2017 through 2021, and expired on Dec. 31, 2021. The interim deal, which commenced Jan. 1, 2022, “effectively rolls over the fee terms of the expired license and affords the parties a window of time within which to negotiate a new license.” The agreement with BMI, which covered from 2017 through 2021, also expired on Dec. 31, 2021. Last month, the RMLC and Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights (GMR) announced they had reached a conditional settlement.
US Copyright Office Rejects Appeal Over AI Authorship in Art
The US Copyright Office has rejected a second request to copyright a picture called ‘A Recent Entrance to Paradise’ created by an algorithm called Creativity Machine. It cited its rules about not registering any works “produced by a machine or mere mechanical process” that operates “without any creative input or intervention from a human author”, adding that Creativity Machine’s creator Steven Thaler did not “convince the Office to depart from a century of copyright jurisprudence” in his appeal. This is all very relevant to the emerging art and science of AI-created music with a number of startups having built systems for this purpose. The US Copyright Office has been considering these issues. For now, the registered author of a piece of AI-created music will remain either the developer of the AI, or (if different) the person pushing the button to make it create.
YouTube is “Really Focused” on Helping Users Find Live Streams, Says Neal Mohan
YouTube is implementing a cosmetic change highly reminiscent of Instagram and TikTok to signify that a creator is live. Going forward, creators’ profile pictures will be encircled by rings when a creator is in the midst of a stream, with the word ‘Live’ written below. YouTube chief product officer Neal Mohan announced the update on Twitter, explaining that the aim of the feature is to help viewers find more live streams. The Verge notes that similar rings indicate when a creator is live on TikTok while scrolling through videos, and the same visual cue exists at the top of the Instagram interface.
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