You won’t find a single mention of music in Facebook’s quarterly financial-results announcement or the ensuring analyst call, but both are worth reading for an understanding of how the social network evolved in 2012, and what it might mean for the musicians and labels using it in 2013.
Topline stats: $1.59bn of revenues in Q4 2012, up 40% year-on-year, although net income was down from $302m to $64m in the same period. 84% of Facebook’s Q4 revenues came from advertising: a cool $1.33bn. Meanwhile, the social network ended 2012 with 1.06bn monthly active users (MAUs), up 25% year-on-year, and 618m daily active users (DAUs), up 28%.
Here’s the key quote from CEO Mark Zuckerberg: “Today there’s no argument. Facebook is a mobile company.” Facebook ended 2012 with 680m mobile MAUs, with more people accessing it daily from phones than on the web (more mobile DAUs than web DAUs, in Web 2.0 parlance). Mobile accounted for 23% of Facebook’s ad revenues in Q4, up from 14% in Q3. That’s $305m of mobile ads in Q4 alone.
More Zuckerberg: “The next thing we’re going to do, is get really good at building new mobile first experiences. That’s going to be a big theme for us this year.”
Most of the ways music has interacted deeply with Facebook thus far have been on its website. Zuckerberg’s words may act as a spur for more music services and startups – as well as marketers – to think harder about how they work within Facebook’s mobile apps and site.