Facebook Tests Change That Is CATASTROPHIC For Music Marketing

image from img.gadgethacks.comUPDATED: Facebook is testing a major change to is basic algorithm – the one that decides what shows up in a followers news feed – that will completely change music marketing on the social platform; unless, of course, one is willing to pay to be seen.


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Facebook is testing a change that would shift all non-promoted posts coming from pages out of its news feed. The shift would be catastrophic for artists, music marketers and all content creators who rely on the social network to build and engage an audience.  

This new system is currently being tested in six countries including Slovakia, Serbia and Sri Lanka; and appears to move all non-promoted page posts into a secondary feed, leaving the traditional main feed filled only with original content from friends and advertisers.

Arrow_outline_green_downThis change has resulted in user engagement with Facebook pages dropping by as much as 60% to 80%, according to Alex Hem of The Guardian, who first reported the tests. If rolled out broadly, it would greatly diminish the value of free marketing on the social network dramatically.

According to Filip Struhárik, from Slovakian newspaper Dennik N,  “Pages are seeing dramatic drops in organic reach. The reach of several Facebook pages fell on Thursday and Friday by two-thirds compared to previous days.”

Between Wednesday and Thursday of last week, 60 of the most popular facebook pages in Slovakia saw two-thirds to three-quarters of their Facebook reach evaporate, according to stats from Facebook's own analytics platform.

UPDATE: Facebook Issued A Statement Saying It's Not Changing The News Feed (For Now), But Should We Believe Them?

Remember MySpace?

Artists and music marketers have already felt the pain of much smaller shifts in Facebook's algorithm. But the changes being tested will feel more like the demise of MySpace, where in the just a few months,  the web's most powerful music marketing tool at the time became almost irrelevant.

Some marketers have always focused on that the two points of contact that they can actually control – the artist's web site and their email list – as the hub of all online efforts. It appears that's about to be more true than ever.  



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  1. Don’t get too scared over this. A representative from Facebook said “There is no current plan to roll this out beyond these test countries or to charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in news feed or explore.” It’s not myspace or “CATASTROPHIC” yet. Whether or not ot does or doesn’t become that, the title to this article was a little too heavy on the click bait to be delivering unbiased news.

  2. Fair point Randy, but we’ve all been hurt before by Facebook making changes and this fits with previous advertising first decisions.
    The line you got from Facebook is exactly what any corporate PR person say.
    I have no way of knowing if it will happen, but it is being tested and thought readers should know.

  3. Bruce,
    I agree completely. The fact that it is being tested should be worrisome for artists. This is EXACTLY why we’ve been telling artists to build e-mail / text message lists.
    PS…just listened to your interview with Jay Gilbert and Michael Brandvold (Mike is one of my clients) talking about who is responsible for promoting shows. GREAT piece, brother!

  4. I’d prefer competing for eyeballs with other brands which are competing for eyeballs rather than competing for eyeballs with all the women on Facebook making #MeToo posts about their sexual assaults or people posting a photo of the Eggs Benedict they’re about to eat.
    Context, y’know?

  5. Agree 100% I really hope that all businesses who have been lied to by Facebook in regards to their so-called reach on paid ads move on elsewhere enmasse

  6. Facebook already feels pretty irrelevant. If they want to make themselves even less relevant they will end up paying a price.
    Also agree the title is out of proportion. Even if rolled out, it won’t be catastrophic. As it is, pages hardly get any views anymore.

  7. Yeah, right. That’s what they SAID but, my accounts and those of contacts in the media and music have seen a drastic nosedive in reach on Facebook (while other platforms have continued to increase). It’s a simple squeeze-play by Facebook to increase profits while still pretending to be ‘free.’ It IS catastrophic to those entities (business or non-profit) that relied on Facebook as an integral part of their marketing. And the kids are already bailing from Facebook!

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