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77% of Facebook video views include music, claims Pex


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Earlier this month, we reported on startup Pex’s latest analysis of videos on YouTube, including its claim that music accounted for 5% of the total content on YouTube in 2019, but 22% of the views. Now Pex has published another report applying similar analysis to videos on Facebook.

“At the end of 2019, there were 1.29 billion videos on Facebook. Last year saw 279 million more videos uploaded than in 2018, a 28% increase. The average public video accrued 23,473 views and total views on the platform reached 30.25 trillion,” were some of the stats from Pex’s analysis.

“Perhaps most noteworthy of all, the top 2% of videos generated 86% of all views on Facebook,” it continued. But the juicy parts relate to music. “Not only is music prevalent in Facebook videos, but its presence coincides with higher view counts. We found that 49% of all videos on Facebook contain at least 10 seconds of music and that those videos account for 77% of all views.”

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The backdrop to all this, of course, are Facebook’s licensing deals with music labels, publishers and collecting societies to ensure that this usage is tracked and that royalties are paid out for it, even if the details of those deals – not to mention how Facebook’s payments are then divided out among creators by the rightsholders and societies – remain secret.

There’s another music story involving Facebook today. Tech site The Information reported that Facebook and Snapchat’s parent company Snap have both recently held talks with social music app Dubsmash about potential acquisitions. “The acquisition talks progressed far enough to include discussions of a price tag in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” claimed its source.

Dubsmash isn’t ‘the new TikTok’: it was around and going viral with its user-made lip-syncing videos back in 2015, before its thunder was stolen by the Musical·ly app that would later be acquired by ByteDance and merged into TikTok. But rather than die, Dubsmash returned after a revamp, and by early this year it was generating 1bn monthly video views. More recently, it’s enjoyed download spikes both in India and in the US as a result of TikTok’s regulatory troubles.

Facebook already has one wannabe TikTok-killer in Instagram’s new Reels feature (which is NOT receiving universal praise), so claims that it’s been thinking about acquiring another are a surprise. Snap’s interest in Dubsmash is intriguing too, given that it has a freshly-minted set of licensing deals for music in the Snapchat app.

Stuart Dredge

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