Facebook may be preparing to explore partnerships with the music business, if a recent hire is any indication. Tamara Hrivnak, one of the key music executives at YouTube, just announced she is joining Facebook “to lead global music strategy and business development.” Appropriately, Hrivnak made the announcement in a Facebook post.
Neither Hrivnak nor Facebook would comment. But the fact that the social network hired a respected music lawyer with a history of working on licensing deals suggests that it’s interested in licensing music.
Hrivnak, a lawyer, worked as director of music partnerships for Google Play and YouTube, where she was seen by major label executives as a dealmaker who understood their business at a company where few people do. She reported to YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl. Before going to Google in 2011, Hrivnak was vp of digital strategy & business affairs for Warner/Chappell Music Publishing.
Over the past year, music videos have become more popular on Facebook, but most of them are not licensed – which has become a matter of concern to rightsholders. “I think our next big fight is with Facebook,” National Music Publishers’ Association CEO David Israelite said in a recent interview. In Decemeber, news broke that Facebook was developing a content ID system to stem music infringement. He added that he hoped the situation would change: “Being business partners isn’t only smarter, it’s the right thing to do — and I think they want to do the right thing.” The fact that Hrivnak described her job as “global music strategy and business development” suggests that it could do so soon.