As if it hasn’t been bad enough trying to keep DJ livestreams, well, live, on Facebook, it looks like it is about to get much, much worse. Because as of 1 October, Facebook is introducing sweeping new rules that are more aggressive than ever towards DJ livestreaming.
While big-name DJs, music industry companies and record labels continue to do behind-the-scenes deals with Facebook to host DJ livestreaming events with impunity on the platform, it seems explicitly that “one rule for them, one rule for us” is about to be fully enforced.
As part of a more general sweeping change to the way Facebook polices content on its platform, there are new specific music guidelines, which state:
“You may not use videos on our Products to create a music listening experience … If you use videos on our Products to create a music listening experience for yourself or for others, your videos will be blocked and your page, profile or group may be deleted. This includes Live.” (our bolding).
The full guidelines go on to describe scenarios where bans are likely to be enforced, but the message is clear: Facebook is for sharing with family and friends, not for sharing music – unless you happen to be big enough to get an exception to the rules for your commercial enterprise.
So what is a DJ livestreamer to do?
Well, if you want to stream legally, you have a few options, the most obvious of which is Mixcloud Live. Yes, you’ll have to work harder for your audience, and yes, the platform charges a monthly subscription, but it is 100% legal and has been designed for DJs.
Another option is YouTube. Because of its stance towards allowing rights owners to monetise copyrighted content through advertising and data mining, it is the most lenient of the mainstream platforms to livestreaming – but it is way behind Mixcloud, and your stream may still be stopped, blocked, or worse.
It’s immensely frustrating for DJs, and such a shame that the law cannot seem to catch up with the tech and the way people want to use use it (especially as many would be prepared to pay for the privilege). It’s especially galling for DJs to see companies who rely on those same DJs as customers livestreaming apparently with the blessing of the big platforms.
But that’s how it is right now. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you…