Facebook Is Coming Down Hard On DJ Live Streaming Beginning October 1

The pandemic has forced musicians to find a variety of other modes of income and interacting with fans. By and large, this has been live streaming — though not the same as an in-person concert experience, still being able to interact with the performer (via chat) and see them perform quasi-live has been somewhat of a solace in these times.

Streaming has been split between a variety of platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and other proprietary services. Unfortunately, Facebook is coming down hard on DJ live streaming with a set of new (or newly clarified) rules and guidelines going into effect on October 1.

With regard to musical performances on the platform, in Section 4 Subsection 5.2, it references Music Guidelines. This section states:

You may not use videos on our Products to create a music listening experience
We want you to be able to enjoy videos posted by family and friends. However, 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.

Facebook makes it clear that its products (this includes Instagram) are for “family and friends,” not musicians. Phil Morse writes for Digital DJ Tips, “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.”

YouTube has not instituted such limitations, though Twitch streamers should stream performances with caution and avoid saving clips to VOD.