NORFOLK, Va. – Music has been like medicine for many throughout the pandemic. Deejays and music artists have provided relief, often taking to Facebook to live stream performances and play our favorite tunes. However, starting October 1, Facebook is pulling the plug on any content intended to be a “music listening experience”.
“It's very heartbreaking that during the time of the pandemic, that [Facebook] would decide to take away something that brings people together,” said Hampton Roads singer and songwriter K’Bana Blaq. “[Music] brings peace of mind.”
“Music is the one thing that brings everybody together,” said Fresh Radio’s DJ Bee.
According to a notice shared by Facebook, “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.”
Intellectual property and entertainment attorney Shay Lawson said Facebook is drawing a line in the sand.
“Facebook is taking away a live music experiences, and what that means for deejays and for artists is that there are no more virtual concerts,” explained Lawson, who is urging deejays and artists to seek other platforms to create a music listening experience for their fans.
“I have my own radio station with video feeds set up already,” said DJ Bee, who also suggested deejays and artists look to platforms like Twitch, Periscope and YouTube Live to keep the music alive for their fans.
K’Bana Blaq suggested artists make their music available as a gift to fans.
“Go on the street and start basically sharing and giving to people,” Blaq said.
Because Facebook owns Instagram, will the cultural phenomenon Verzuz – a music battle between Black music legends – be impacted by the new rule? Or will the famed DJ Nice’s sets on Instagram be banned, too? Lawson said it’s not likely, and that certain provisions may have been made to allow those experiences to continue.
“We know now that this is happening. Draw your audience to a platform that does allow for live music streaming,” said Lawson. “It's just finding the platform that works best for you, where your audience will move with you.”