Two new developments for Facebook yesterday will be of interest to independent musicians using the social network.
First, there’s a new ‘Buy Tickets’ button that can be used for events, which is being tested in a pilot. And second, Facebook has opened up its live-streaming video features beyond verified users.
The ticketing aspect has the most potential to be disruptive, although for now this is strictly a test. BuzzFeed reported that the pilot will involve “a small group of independent venues, artists and event promoters in the San Francisco Bay Area” before Facebook decides whether to roll it out nationally, let along globally. The company is not taking a cut of the ticket price, with fulfilment handled by external companies.
At a time of chatter about “full stack music” services combining radio-style and on-demand music with ticketing – see Pandora, Spotify – Facebook is still very much on the outskirts. It has a ticketing pilot now, but explicitly denied music-industry gossip – as reported by Music Ally earlier this year – that it was planning a move in to music-streaming.
Let’s see what 2016 brings on that front: in the meantime, there’s the recently-launched ‘Music Stories’ feature with Spotify and Apple Music to think about.
News of the ticketing pilot came as Facebook opened up its live-streaming video to all users – well, all users in the US at least – having previously made it only available to verified users. That means emerging and niche musicians will now be able to broadcast live to their fans, if they so desire, as well as the bigger acts.
The feature has been seen as Facebook’s equivalent to Twitter’s Periscope, although we have seen more artists using the latter in recent months.