Updates and Guidelines for Including Music in Video

Posted on May 20, 2020

Music is a bonding force in normal times. During difficult and isolating times like this, we know it can be even more important. As social distancing has forced everyone to stay apart, more people have turned to Instagram and Facebook Live to stay connected with their communities. This rapid rise in usage has created a lot of good during this crisis – raising money for frontline workers and underserved communities, driving awareness of healthy habits, encouraging people to stay safe by staying home, and bringing people together through new forms of entertainment. But it’s also highlighted some confusion across the community – especially around the use of recorded music in Live on both Facebook and Instagram.

At its core, Live brings people together in a real-time and unproduced way, which has opened up new creative opportunities for many creators, artists, and other public figures.

So as we continue building for the long term, we’re sharing guidelines and product improvements around music in Instagram and Facebook videos and livestreams.

Clarifying our guidelines for including music in video

We want to encourage musical expression on our platforms while also ensuring that we uphold our agreements with rights holders. These agreements help protect the artists, songwriters, and partners who are the cornerstone of the music community – and we’re grateful for how they’ve enabled the amazing creativity we’ve seen in this time.

Our partnerships with rights holders have brought people together around music on our platforms. As part of our licensing agreements, there are limitations around the amount of recorded music that can be included in Live broadcasts or videos. While the specifics of our licensing agreements are confidential, today we’re sharing some general guidelines to help you plan your videos better:

  • Music in stories and traditional live music performances (e.g., filming an artist or band performing live) are permitted.
  • The greater the number of full-length recorded tracks in a video, the more likely it may be limited (more below on what we mean by “limited”).
  • For that reason, shorter clips of music are recommended.
  • There should always be a visual component to your video; recorded audio should not be the primary purpose of the video.

These guidelines are consistent across live and recorded video on both Facebook and Instagram, and for all types of accounts – i.e. pages, profiles, verified and unverified accounts. And although music is launched on our platforms in more than 90 countries, there are places where it is not yet available. So if your video includes recorded music, it may not be available for use in those locations.

People also have access to a library of custom music and sound effects at no cost using Facebook’s Sound Collection. The Sound Collection includes thousands of tracks available to use in the videos you share on Facebook and Instagram without any limits – spanning genres like hip-hop, pop, jazz, country, and more.

An example of Facebook's Sound Collection experience through a laptop device.

In-product video notifications

We know it can be frustrating to have a stream interrupted or to have parts of your video muted because it includes music. To minimize these interruptions and to prevent confusion around audio use, we’re also improving our in-product notifications. These notifications are intended to alert you when our systems detect that your broadcast or uploaded video may include music in a way that doesn’t adhere to our licensing agreements.

Updates include making notifications clearer and surfacing notifications earlier to live broadcasters, to give people time to adjust their streams and avoid interruptions if we detect they may be approaching our limitations. And if your video is muted or blocked, we’ll make it clear what actions you can take to stop the interruption.

An example of In-Product video removal notification through a mobile phone device.

Looking to the future

With these improvements, we look forward to people, artists, and creators continuing to use music to share and bond with each other across our platforms.

We will continue to work hand-in-hand with our music partners to enable people to build community with music in new ways, and especially during this time, we’re working together to maximize people’s ability to express themselves through our products.