The Half-Life of A Facebook Post: 80 Minutes
-- A study by Toronto-based startup Visibli found that 50% of Facebook likes occur within 1 hour 20 minutes of the item being posted. Sixty percent of likes happen within 2:15, 70% occur within 4:00, 80% occur within 7:00 and 95% occur within 22 hours. For the study, Visibli analyzed over 200 million Facebook accounts.
The moral of the story? Don't expect people to fun across your witty comment, shared article or YouTube video a day or two after it was first posted. A post with 19 likes after 22 hours will only get to 20 likes in its entire lifetime.
The study also found that artists' posts do better with likes than comments. Artist posts receive an average of 92 likes per post, nearly twice the number of likes for media organizations and brands. But Visibli found that media organizations' posts received an average of 43 comments while artists' post got 17 and brands got just 9. (Visibli's stats are per 100,000 Facebook followers.)
Artists do an exceptionally good job at retaining engagement as they get more Facebook followers. The average artist page gets about 87 likes per 100,000 fans but is able to increase engagement slightly as the number of fans increases. Media organizations, on the other hand, start out with about 70 likes per 100,000 followers but drop to about 20 when the number of followers grows to 2.5 million. Brands start out lower than artists - around 62 likes per 100,000 followers - and drop to around 60 at 2.5 million followers.
The most engaging Facebook page belongs not to a music artist but to auto brand Audi, which gets 228 likes per 100,000 users. Justin Bieber is #2 with 181, rapper Chamillionaire is #3 with 142 likes, Lady Gaga is #4 with 136 and American Airlines is #5 with 128.
The G-Men Take Down a Pirate
-- The Motion Picture Association of America is not messing around with piracy. A member of the Screen Actors Guild who allegedly uploaded "The King's Speech," "Black Swan" and other movies to The Pirate Bay had his Los Angeles apartment raided by the FBI on Tuesday.
From Wired.com's Threat Level blog: "In the warrant request to search DeSoto's apartment, FBI special agent Thomas Brenneis wrote Magistrate Suzanne H. Segal of Los Angeles that the bureau was seeking 'records, documents, programs, applications or materials relating to "TiMPE" [a Pirate Bay group that uploads pre-release movies] and 'thepiratebay.org… The bureau's involvement in the case, according to the affidavit, commenced in February when Larry Hahn, the Motion Picture Association of America director of content protection, 'advised' the FBI that five "feature motion pictures" were uploaded to the Pirate Bay days before."
The screeners uploaded to the Pirate Bay are said to have contained watermarks that allowed the uploader to be identified. Deluxe Webwatch was able to capture the IP address of
( Threat Level blog)
The Long Tail Vs. The Long Head
-- The long tail has not been revisited in quite a few months here at Billboard, but it's a topic that continues to interest people in the music industry. The commercial viability of self-released, relatively unknown artists gets to the very heart of new digital businesses. For this reason, a recent post at Terry Hart's blog Copyhype is worth a read. Hart points out that companies that provide hits to consumers rely on copyright law in order to operate. But if the long tail theory is correct and hits become less relevant, the protections of copyright law would carry less weight among content creators. Not to worry, writes Hart:
"If any conclusion can be gleaned from this, it is that the Long Tail Theory is not a natural phenomenon, caused solely by the economics and architecture of the internet. Factors besides these drive demand to content located in the tail. And even though there are benefits to increasing the importance of 'tail content', 'head content' still plays an important role. The success of hits and blockbusters provides the capital for content industries to take more risks, investing in the creation of non-mainstream and niche content... In short, the demise of 'traditional' creative companies predicted by 'The Long Tail,' and any changes in the role of copyright law that may accompany that, has yet to occur in practice."
In arguing that "head" content still plays an important role in recorded music, Copyhype points to a new paper by Brian R. Day in the Seton Hall Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law titled "In Defense of Copyright: Creativity, Record Labels, and the Future of Music." Day, who works with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, argues that record label content continues to sell well in part because it provides a value to consumers:
"To say that labels are no longer necessary because of technological advances facilitating the production and distribution of music is to ignore and devalue the specialized role that the Artist & Repertoire, Promotion and Marketing, Creative Services, and Business & Legal Affairs departments provide for artists and the recordings that they produce. The argument also overlooks the significant investment made by record labels in new artists, including living expenses, recording budget, tour support, music video funding, and more."
One note on that quote from Day: There's a difference between creating value and spending money. Labels must certainly deal with certain expenses related to developing an artist and running a company. But it's the role they play in finding, developing and promoting artist that gets their music to the top of the charts. And, as Hart and Day now argue, labels are still the ones getting to the top of the charts.