Friday, February 20, 2015

Facebook's Video Specs

video production image
Since Facebook is promoting video as a big part of its service going forward, rewarding those who use it in their posts with increased organic reach, it's worth noting exactly what the platform's video specs are.

Remember that to get the most out of a video post, you have to upload directly to Facebook and not embed from another service. For best video results:
  • Optimize all videos for HD quality
  • Output from your editor using the H.264 video codec with AAC audio to either a MOV or MP4 file
  • The aspect ratio can be no larger than 1280px wide, so best to output 1280x720 for best results
  • Use a frame rate of 30fps or below
  • Use stereo audio with a sample rate of 44.1kHz
  • Less than 40 minutes long
So basically any hi-def video file should work as long as it's not too wide or too large should work for Facebook.

Keep in mind that regardless of the length of your video that most people don't watch through to the end so keep the most important information up in front.

You should follow me on Forbes for some insights on the new music business, Twitter and Facebook for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Upcoming YouTube Music Showdown

Youtube Multichannel Network image
YouTube multichannel networks (MCNs) like Maker, Machinima, and Fullscreen have reshaped the business of online video, but there's still one dicey area that hasn't yet been worked out to everyone's satisfaction - the music that accompanies many of those videos.

It's about to get interesting in that regard as music library Freeplay Music recently filed a lawsuit against some of the largest MCNs in the business.

Disney's Maker Studios, DreamWorks Animation's Awesomeness, Big Frame and BroadbandTV where all slammed with suits that claimed the unauthorized use of Freeplay's music in videos on their channels.

Not satisfied with YouTube's Content ID system of spotting music usage, Freeplay incorporated its own digital fingerprinting technology called TuneSat to discover what it claims was rampant unauthorized use of its music.

The company offers free licenses to video producers to use its music for non-commercial purposes, and that's the rub. In a countersuit, the MCNs have claimed that Freeplay is being deceptive with their licenses, getting a producer to use its music for free only to turn around later and demand payment.

The problem with all this is that the MCNs are responsible for policing their own copyright situations, but you could see how difficult this could be with thousands of channels and millions of videos, which is why Freeplay went to the fingerprinting system to more precisely determine for sure if its music was being used.

YouTube has been like the Wild West for a number of years when it came to music licensing, but now that everyone is aware huge amount of the money involved, it's finally gotten the attention of everyone in music publishing in a big way. Whichever way the lawsuit turns out, it can only be good for songwriters, as every little income stream is now so important.

You should follow me on Forbes for some insights on the new music business, Twitter and Facebook for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Now More People See Your Facebook Video Posts

Facebook video ads image
Just as soon as we thought we had Facebook promotion figured out, they went and changed its algorithm again.

For a few years now it was common practice to always include a photo with every post and minimize the number of video posts in order to get the highest engagement. Now research company Socialbakers has found that Facebook video is now the way to go.

In the study of over 4,000 brand pages and 670,000 posts over the last 6 months, the company found that the lowest organic search reach came from a post with a photo. What's more, it averaged out that only about 4 in 100 followers actually see it, which is way down from the already diminished 16 of just a few years ago.

Videos, on the other hand, have an organic reach of 8.7%, or almost 9 people out of 100.

Links and text-only posts now have a 5.3% and 5.8% reach. Once again, this means that around 5 or 6 out of every hundred of your followers will see it.

The reason for the change is that Facebook is trying to evolve into a video platform to rival Youtube, so videos now get priority. The trick is to upload them directly to Facebook though, rather than just embedding them from Youtube.

One of several downsides is the fact that many are already hip to what's happening, so more and more artists are promoting their video posts, which means that there'll be more competition for the 1.3 billion eyeballs that are there.

You should follow me on Forbes for some insights on the new music business, Twitter and Facebook for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

To Pay Or Not To Pay Interns

My name is intern image
The connotation of the word "intern" is now changing as it has gone from "free worker" to "paid temp employee" thanks to a class action lawsuit on behalf of 3,000 former unpaid interns that felt abused by the system.

Recently Warner Music Group became the largest music company to resolve litigation over its past internship program by agreeing to settle for an amount of $750,000.

Other similar lawsuits in film and television have ended in the same way, prompting all media companies to reevaluate their intern programs, which potentially means far fewer opportunities for those seeking the few internships that are available. The laws governing internships are different from state to state, but a precedent set in one tends to carry over to the others, which is what's happening here.

To be sure, this applies mostly to large corporations, but could possibly have a chilling affect on even smaller studios as well. While most interns are just too happy to have a job that allows them to learn from a pro and would never conceive of bringing an action against an employer for fear of what might happen to their career, just the threat of something like that happening can have a chilling effect on a potential employer.

I have a friend who owns an upscale but small studio that was sued by a former intern because he didn't get the promised studio downtime simply because the studio was busy with bookings. The studio owner won the case but it still cost him time and lawyer's fees. That person now runs a no-intern shop.

So paid internship is now a double-edged sword. It's nice to get paid for the work you put in, but the opportunities to learn will now be far more limited.

Monday, February 16, 2015

How We Spend Money On Music Is Changing

93% of the US population listens to music, spending an average of 25 hours a week listening to their favorite songs, according to Nielsen's Music 360 Report.

That said, 2014 provided a paradigm shift in how we consume music, as streaming has now become the preferred method.

In fact, 67% of music fans tap into streaming music on any given week.
Indeed, we streamed more than 164 billion tracks last year alone.

That said, Americans spend an average of $109 a year on music, and you'd be surprised how we spend it.

As you can see from the chart on the left, the majority of the money is spend buying live music tickets, and the next largest sum is buying CDs!

That's followed by buying music gift cards for others, and tickets to music festivals. Paid online streaming is almost last, which means there's big room for growth in the future.


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