An Artist Asks Facebook: “Why Do I Have to Pay to Reach My Fans?”

  • Save

At the Music Biz 2014 conference this week in Los Angeles…

Tony Groticelli, UMG Nashville (Moderator): Do you have a question over here?

Artist in the audience: Yeah, my question is for Kevin [Carr].  It’s that, I understand that it’s becoming more competitive, but you have bands, artists, labels who have spent tons of money, countless hours… years building their Facebook fan bases.  And now, you’re charging them to reach the audience that they paid and spent hours and hours and countless resources to build.

So are you going to do anything for those artists who are now not able to reach those fans that they spent so much time and money building?  Do you have a program for artists and labels to help promote them as a make good, for making them pay to reach their fans?

Kevin Carr, Facebook: Sure.  I really think it comes down to – because there are artists and there are actors and there are brands  that are reaching  a ton of their fans though.  So not everyone has had that happen —

Artist: — right, the big ones —

Carr: — I think —

Artist: — but, if you have 30 million fans, you have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to reach those fans.

Carr: It’s, it’s not a matter of — we’re not trying to punish anyone.  And it’s not like we’re trying to turn on a money machine.  It really comes down to authentic content, reaching the person.

Artist: Right, but how much more authentic can it be?  George Tekei speaks out about this, right.  He spent all this time and money building a huge fan base, he wants to advertise, ‘hey, I’m appearing at this bookstore to sign books.’  He has to pay to reach those fans, but how much more authentic could it be?  ‘Hey guys, you’re my fans, I want you to come see me.’

But I have to pay for that now?  What are you going to do for that?  Is there any plan to help?

Carr: No,  I mean, we — we don’t have a plan like you are articulating.  To sort of —

Artist: What’s more authentic than that? Hey, my fans, come see me here —

Gino Sesto (Dash Two):  I have to come to his defense a little bit.  You have to realize that… not all of those fans were paid for, it was a free platform probably for most of the fans that he acquired.

Artist: No no, but he spent time and money developing that fan base —

Sesto: — right, but he was able to speak to his audience at the time.  The problem is that the platform has become mature, and they’re not trying to be like Twitter and just have it to be an open firehose.  So they’re trying to curate the content  a little bit for the people.  I don’t know exactly how the algorithm works, but I have to assume that if someone is interacting with the artist a bunch of times, they’re probably going to see posts.

Artist: Yeah but to get to 30 million fans, that takes a lot of time and money, and then to have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to reach those fans.  That’s kind of tough.

So there’s nothing, there’s no artist program, there’s nothing that Facebook is going to do to work with those artists?

Carr: I totally empathize, I totally understand and I’ve talked to other folks that have had the same experience.  I don’t have a program that is going to give out organic reach.  It really comes down to what I was saying before, is that the authentic voice reaching the person that wants to see that.

It’s become much more crowded, it’s become very competitive.  And, news feeds for one person – you could have one person that’s eligible to see 1,500 posts in a day.  But we’re trying to show the ones that out of all those artists, all the years that they’ve acquired all those Likes and those Pages, we want to show the ones that are relevant so they stay engaged on Facebook.

Groticelli: Let’s go to another question —


103 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    When people want to use things that others have created in order to enhance their own business. They must pay.

    • Tyler D

      Most artists want something for nothing. They want the cost of building to be zero down, but the profit to be exponential.

      • News Reader

        Would as many people use Facebook, Twitter, etc. if artists, celebrities, and other public figures didn’t use the platform though? What will happen to traffic on Facebook once these public figures start moving to other platforms? I’m not defending either side, just providing some food for thought.

        • Renee Mantkowski

          You make a very good point. I only joined facebook to keep up with a particular band and other fans of that band. If the band moves to something else, the fans will follow them. This is a band that is successful enough to have thousands of followers, but not successful enough to have to pay to keep in touch with them. They do post frequently, and have actual contact with their fans. I could see them giving that up, and the fans being at a loss if they have to pay more than is reasonable to the viability of their business. That last paragraph from Carr is bunk. If I like a friends page just to be polite, I turn off notifications so I already get only the ones I really want. Facebook already gave the individual the ability to control which posts THEY want to see, which is the way it should be.

        • Kim Olsen

          But the artists can move all they want, becuase people are on Facebook to meet friends. So Facebook will still have a lot of users. So untill something better will arise (I think not), people will stay on Facebook and Artists as anyone else need to adapt.

          The days of big social networks are over and it could very bee that Facebook was the last one. People are now using Mobile Social Apps on their phone. Small apps that reach friends in another way. Artists need to adapt and use snapchat, instagram etc. to keep up with their fans. The world is moving forward, Artists need to follow these waves.

          You dont hear Rhianna complain about Facebook. Because she has allready adapted to other networks. Facebook is not the place to be for artists anymore.

          • Colin

            You don’t hear people like Rihanna complaining about it because it doesn’t affect someone as big as her. She’s a very popular artist with lots of radio play and a very wealthy record label backing her. This is affecting smaller artists who don’t make enough money to be spending it on anything that they don’t need. Artists who don’t get played on the radio and are living paycheck to paycheck like normal people.

            Granted Facebook has every right to run their site however they want. The problem is that these artists put so much time and effort into building a decent following on this site thinking that it was going to stay free. Now that Facebook decided to change everything they got screwed out of all the time they wasted since they can no longer afford to pay to reach out to fans. It’s like when you sign a mortgage at a specific rate and one day the bank decides its going to double the amount you have to pay per month because they want to make more money and you’re left completely unprepared.

          • MK

            Except with the mortgage, you are paying for the service (interest) so that you get something. There was never an agreement between you and Facebook saying things wouldn’t change. It was never implicit.

            They were always going to try and monetize.

            If the artists didn’t know that, they need to work on the business end of being an artist as well as the creative end.

          • Kieran

            actually Facebook has for a long time worn the tag ‘It’s free and it always will be’.

            If that’s not stating you are a free service and will remain as one then I don’t know what is.

          • Peterboy

            FB was never a good place for artists to gain recognition especially to earn a living with their music. Nine out of ten social media platforms including SoundCloud are just wasting the artist;s time when the artist is concerned with making any money with his/her music.

          • CJ

            Artists can post shows to for free (if they have an Artist profile). Fans can subscribe to artists for free. ViaStage shows you the live shows near your location, for free. Anyone can post a ViaStage show onto their social media page (FB, Twitter, etc.) for free. So I think ViaStage is an alternative way to promote the Artist and their shows. I hear their mobile site will be up soon, but the desktop version is working fine.

        • michael

          Great point. I’m working with a mobile company that is doing just that! pays artists when they engage fans with social media….new concept, new artist revenue stream!

      • facepalm headdesk

        But music should be free too, right?

        • drang

          No, music shouldn’t be free. You get it free today b/c the business model is changing and its a strategy to get fans. It used to be, cut and album and tour to support album sales. Now it’s cut an album, give it away cheap or free to promote your tours. Music is an art and creating it takes time, effort, commitment, etc. You don’t just pick up an instrument and play. You study for years to become proficient and more years to become a master – just like law/medical school, etc. You wouldn’t walk into your Dr.’s office an ask for free medical attention so that you can decide if you want to use that doctor full time, would you? You wouldn’t ask your attorney to handle a legal case pro bono so that you can decide if you want to use them again? Its this very attitude that keeps musicians from being able to make a living on their love for their art.

      • BitchesLoveMe`

        most fans want something for nothing.

        • Anonymous

          Then most fans aren’t fans, they’re parasites.

          • Anonymous

            Nope, they’d be more accurately described as fans than parasites, just ones who hold to subpar economic norms.

      • greedy artist

        yes we artist want everything for free. certainly not like our fan base or our employers who want us to work for “experience” or “exposure”.

        if you are taco bell on facebook you should pay for that- not if you are an independent artist operating at a loss because it is your passion.

        these fat cats are blasting us in the ass for continued growth. what they don’t realize is they are fucking with the system in a major way, which could potentially destroy facebook and become another withered myspace, for continued growth.

        • sfsom

          Another point is that artists create content for Facebook, which in turn attracts more users. Facebook sells this information to companies and gets advertising dollars because of these users. The artists are already paying.

        • CJ

          Artists can post shows to for free (if they have an Artist profile). Fans can subscribe to artists for free. ViaStage shows you the live shows near your location, for free. Anyone can post a ViaStage show onto their social media page (FB, Twitter, etc.) for free. So I think ViaStage is an alternative way to promote the Artist and their shows. I hear their mobile site will be up soon, but the desktop version is working fine.

      • Dude Guy

        That’s actually a bogus statement because Facebook only works as a result of content they do NOT pay for which is posted by users. It is almost a symbiotic relationship. And that is why many independent artists and even regular every day people are frustrated with the new algorithms being developed. Facebook doesn’t pay anybody for any of the content whether its an artist announcing a gig or your mom posting pictures of her garden salad. If there is no content Facebook is quite useless. For people to spend the effort to post content no matter how significant (Because that is subjective)….Facebook should be grateful or their entire site/experience is utterly useless. For Suggested posts, and straight out ads, social media video games, etc. Of course they should pay…but if you asked an end user to sign up free of charge so they can share their content….then they should be able to broadcast that content to everyone who agreed to be linked to that account. There is no algorithm needed to curate this. If someone doesn’t want to see an end user’s content it is easy to un-friend, block, or opt out of seeing that person’s content.

        • Dude Guy

          By bogus statement, I of course am referring to the original quote from ‘Anonymous’ on people wanting to use FB for free. “When people want to use things that others have created in order to enhance their own business. They must pay.”

      • Don

        Yeah Tyler, artists want everything for free. And so do all the teenagers and 20-somethings who steal their music. Maybe Facebook should put a plan in place to for artists. Why should artists pay to get you to steal their content?

      • DaleCooper

        “Most artists want something for nothing”

        Are you kidding me?!?!?!

        Breathing deeply here…most *non*-artists expect music, film, tv etc to be free. They don’t want to pay a dime. Law-abiding, good citizens who would never dream of stealing a car or a snack from a store will happily make an exception when it comes to art.

        Do you even have an idea of how much it costs to make an album as an independent artist??

        When are we going to start valuing artists as a society again? The above statement is incredibly offensive, ignorant and heavily, heavily ironic.

        Most artists just want to be shown a little respect.

        • Gravity Man

          Amen. Well said. At Facebook (and google etc) YOU are the product.

        • CW

          DaleCooper nailed it. Respect goes a long way with artists, and so little of them receive it.

        • CJ

          Artists can post shows to for free (if they have an Artist profile). Fans can subscribe to artists for free. ViaStage shows you the live shows near your location, for free. Anyone can post a ViaStage show onto their social media page (FB, Twitter, etc.) for free. So I think ViaStage is an alternative way to promote the Artist and their shows. I hear their mobile site will be up soon, but the desktop version is working fine.

      • Esol Esek

        I hope you’re being sarcastic, because unfortunately I have seen few much bootlicking attitude from generation napster.

        The DIFFERENCE between your ridiculous non-point and reality, is that these services were offered FOR FREE. That’s how they grew, on content and exchange of content offered for FREE. People made Facebook and its owners billionaires, and now they want not only advertising, but enforced subscription. It’s BS.

        Anyone who puts their art or music in a template on someone else’s platform is asking to be screwed. At this point, that much is clear. Soundcloud is now done, and so is Facebook. Bandcamp is the only music venue that makes any sense, because they don’t claim to do any promotion for you, and they just take a minor percentage off the top. Reverb Nation, or any Yahoo site,whoch now owns Tumblr, Myspace, etc are all worthless.

        The shafting by arrogant nerd lizards continues.

      • Albert Combrink

        It is sad but true. We musicians got reliant on FB for its ease of use and access as a database. I would rather pay an artist subscription than pay per individual post. I have used the FB Advertising and it was USELESS as an advertising medium. If all they are doing for that “promote this post” FEE as make it show up on our fans’ timeline, oit os not advertising. It is us paying FB for something they used to do for free. Poppining up in a newsfeed isn’t advertising. That’s the FB of yesteryear. Dead and Gone. Mourn it and Move on. Google+ HELLO

    • Jaded Industry Dude

      While I tend to agree with a statement like this, you must realize that Facebook never once made it seem like they would turn off virtually all of our resources for interacting with fans with no lead time or warning or anything of that nature. Myspace never removed Bulletins to 90% of audiences. Gmail never limited view of emails. Twitter doesn’t limit tweets, Godaddy doesn’t limit how authentic content is. What I mean is, Facebook was for all intensive purposes, making all the money back from a free site via advertising and we thought it would remain that way. We didn’t know this would turn into ‘pay to play’ – We didn’t know we’d have to spend literally 30K to promote a tour on FB when we could promote that same tour for free on FB a month prior to the change.

      I control artist profiles that have less than 1500 Likes that get more attention and interaction than pages I run that have 300,000 Likes. The latter artist is FAR more successful, has been on the Billboard top 10 with every album they’ve released, and yet there is more interaction and viewability with the other page that has 1500. In what virtual-reality does that seem fair?

      • jw

        That actually makes sense to me. If I like a really successful band, like the Black Keys or something, I’m going to engage very passively. The artists I directly engage with the most have 1300 & 3500 likes. If the Black Keys want to tell me they have a new record, it makes sense that they should have to pay for what amounts to targeted display advertising. The Black Keys don’t give a shit about what I think… it’s a very 1-way relationship, probably with some handler like yourself. With smaller acts, it’s more likely to be a 2-way relationship, & that’s what Facebook wants showing up in my feed.

        • facepalm headdesk

          Yeah, that’s where I stopped reading.

          • Mac

            I get that it was dumb, but you actually stopped reading there? His post was well thought out and certainly contributed to the discussion, which is pretty much the only thing that makes DMN worth reading.

      • Just Sayin'

        FYI. It’s “for all intents and purposes” not “intensive” purposes.

    • Ronnie

      When Facebook want to use content that others have created in order to enhance their own business. They are free to change the rules to what ever suits them.

      Without their users Facebook is nothing. Perhaps they should show some R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to the people who are actually bringing traffic to their platform.

    • artist

      For years, artists have been encouraging fans from stage, at concerts, through their websites to visit their Facebook pages – incredible free advertising for Facebook. Artists also pay Facebook to advertise their pages in order to accumulate more fans.

    • Ari Gold

      The problem is that FB encouraged people to spend time and *money* to build Pages, so they could have a way of reaching their own fans. Then, once people had built those fan-bases (again, often spending money to do so), FB suddenly charging people to reach their own fans–more, in fact, than it now costs to reach non-fans! It was a classic bait-and-switch, and if they don’t offer some kind of grace (such as allowing one free post per month that actually goes to all your fans), they will never get any artist to pay to build their brand on FB ever again.

    • I AGREE


  2. Brian

    If the only way you built or can reach your fan base is via Facebook, I’d say the point is moot.

  3. Graham English

    The double-dipping is hard to swallow but there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it except get your fans on your email list and focus on building that instead.

  4. Marek

    I think that Facebook is not the best place to build audience today. It is time for change. We all got an expensive lesson and should decide to stay with FB or leave it. The biggest problem is adverts, which allow other people show us information which we don’t need. That’s way we can see what we really want. The Ad prices is every day higher, conversion is every day lower, math don’t lay.

    In other hand we shouldn’t discuss toy much about fan pages with 30 millions fans but we should focus on the creative people who have for example 500 or 1000 fans. They are important too and even more. We need their passions to change the world. We need for as many people as we can not only few.

  5. Anonymous

    You people are complainers. Seriously! Every brand pays to advertise to their base.
    Musicians need to climb off of their high horses for 5 minutes to absorb the bigger picture.
    You people would expect musical instruments to be for free if it didn’t make you all look like complete idiots.
    Oh wait…

    • Kris

      I am a musician. Pretty funny how much peole give a crap about artists whhemselves don’t represent artists themselves..t

  6. Anonymous

    There are no FREE LUNCHES, just FREE PUNCHES

  7. Anonymous

    Learn the ins and outs of the algorithm: there are %’s of text to photo, amount of different types of content per post etc that hit sweet spots.

    Understand what content gets reach (photo esp instagram, direct uploaded video, etc)

    Optimize for mobile.

    Use FB insights to figure out what’s working and when to post

    Read the blogs and the books on the topic, if you get them on kindle they update as the algorithm and platform does.

    Boost an occasional post regardless.

    Or, open your wallet and keep it open.

  8. TuneHunter

    100 billion dollar IPO at some point has to show THE MONEY.

    They do same to businesses! Expect more squeezing.

  9. Doctor VonCueBall

    Facebook has sealed it’s fate as a now useless social tool for artists. You don’t shit or piss where you eat from FB have done that. This is going to be MySpace all over again get ready for an eventual implosion. Once Radio and TV stations figure out Facebook takes dollars from them they will also flee the platform. The young Z kid has destroyed his legacy and will be gone in the blink of an eye. For real.

    Doctor VCB

      • mdti

        it’s their last update that truely screwed a lot.

        I don’t see them gone “in a blink of an eye” though. the older people should stay long on facebook, because that’s all they know, while youger people “early adopters” are already looking for something else. then, spreading on a new plateform/social media, depends on a lot of things.

        I guess it is also time to learn to do without Facebook, like it used to be?

        • Embers

          Lol. Older people think FB has only been around a short time, remember we used to live without it, and are waiting for the next thing. Some youngsters think the internet IS FB.

  10. Easy Solution

    Ask your fans to select “GET NOTIFICATIONS” under the drop down menu on the “LIKE” button. They will see everything you post on Facebook. Or compile an email list. *Think

  11. also

    no one has mentioned that most (many?) people understood that they were, in fact paying for their page BECAUSE THEY WERE GIVING FACEBOOK INFORMATION THAT IS SOLD TO ADVERTISERS. (it’s not called Friendbook, by the way)

  12. Airplay Music

    The issue is that facebook has changed game rules, so that the initial Investment in Likes has lost most of the value. facebook is making a big mistake, because when artists spent less time/effort on facebook traffic will decrease dramatically

  13. Sodacon

    Reading this makes me glad that I left Facebook behind at the beginning of 2012.

  14. hippydog

    Its not just artists..

    MANY small business’s are thinking the same way ..
    We build up “fans” or customers who DO WANT to hear what we say, and then Facebook turned around and said “all those people who connected and “liked” you, we wont let you connect to them unless you do things this way OR pay to reach them”..

    As someone said above.. double dipping..
    for the bigger artists or companies with thousands of “fans” its not a big deal, as they can hire someone to be their ‘social media’ person.. but for most small biz, it makes Facebook useless..

    The big thing is its not “clear”, on how to stay connected to your fans.. It seems like a lot of doublespeak is happening..

    Facebook: ” you need to have relevant content”
    ME: “so if I make relevant content my fans will see it?”
    Facebook: “maybe…”
    Me: “WTF!! huh?”

    hey, I dont blame Facebook for trying to monetize this huge infrastructure they have built.. I simply think they are going about it the wrong way, and in doing so are going to lose the very people they want to make money off..

  15. Feet

    What about the other pages the ones I want to see? They are doing it to them to.

  16. jw

    This really boils down to… does a “like” truly entitle a band/brand/whatever to anything?

    The way that Facebook sees it, by “liking” something, users are simply describing their interests, and whatever the best way to serve that interest is up to them. And they have decided categorically that flooding a user with everything that they could potentially be interested in is not the best Facebook experience.

    Artists feel ownership of their “likes,” but you know what has more “likes” than your band? Chocolate has almost 30m likes. Pissing People Off has 30,000 likes. Almost 1m people “like” Road Trips. Likes were never tantamount to mailing list subscriptions.

    Artists have always been the redheaded stepchild of the Facebook community… relying on artists was MySpace’s critical flaw… people moved to Facebook to get away from that, & Facebook has always minimized artists’ impact on the service. I always suspected that the whole “Pages” concept was simply a way to clean up the user table, & eventually marginalize/monetize users who were trying to commercialize the service.

    Artists who weren’t pushing their users to their own website & to sign up for their own mailing list were never in control of their own destiny to begin with. You can’t ignore all of the signs AND cut corners and then call foul. And those who think that the marginalization of artists is going to have a large scale negative impact on the service further prove that they fundamentally misunderstand what the service is about.

    • ps

      You nailed it. Though I don’t think the myspace exodus was to get away from artists, so much as it wasn’t cool anymore.

      • jw

        The first time I ever heard of Facebook was back when you still needed a .edu e-mail to sign up. A girl I was dating pulled up her Facebook page & she & my buddy’s girlfriend went through their entire friends list comparing all of their mutual friends. We take that sort of thing for granted now, but it was revolutionary back then, & way more socially relevant than bands on MySpace. At a certain point MySpace was no longer cool, but Facebook took it’s place because of the hypersocial experience & the lack of clutter (both design-wise & content-wise). Do you remember the spam you’d get on MySpace? People got sick of that, they didn’t want unsolicited commercial messages. And Facebook listened & has by & large stuck to that.

        Of course those who are trying to exploit it for commercial gain are pissed about this, but Facebook never set out to be a platform for free targeted advertising. This always reminds me of when, right before Facebook’s IPO, the lady @ GM came out & said they were no longer going to buy FB ads, but were going to continue to maintain their standard FB presence. Clearly, FB ads were a joke compared to the robust free advertising platform that FB was providing. It makes the most sense for FB to reign that in.

    • Chris L

      As the stereotypical starving artist lacking the funding to promote my music through Facebook, I agree with you 100%. Artists complain when their work is stolen yet expect free advertising through a privately owned business. Facebook has never really been the place to build an audience, only to be acknowledged by those fans dedicated enough to search your name. Enticing them to search your name requires the artist to create content people care about, which is the most basic principle of supply and demand. If I want inorganic mouse clicks leading strangers to my page, I’ll have to pay to play and I understand that. I’m also a fan of other artists, and I have the power to check up on and follow the bands I care about. That’s how the service of Facebook works for me, and I have few complaints considering the low up front cost of $0.

  17. annbee

    Years ago, my publicist warned me about investing time and effort with MySpace: “remember, it’s THEIR space.”

    Lesson learned again, it seems.

  18. alex sin

    I have only about 4500 fans (all of which are real people, none paid for) and yet i will never get that reach.

    facebook is greedy. enough said.

  19. Max Forstater

    The point that is being lost in this discussion is the cost on the fans, many of whom are interested in staying connected with artists, musicians and companies that they ‘like’ and want to keep in touch with. The entire discussion to date wreaks of an old school, advertising mentality where a brand needs to buy time to reach a massive audience (many of whom don’t care). Social media is about individuals connecting and is demand driven. Your fan base is a reflection of the demand for you (your ideas), your art/music or services by a population of individuals. If algorithms and programs are designed encourage and facilitate this level of demand driven transaction then the organic nature of social networking thrives. When ‘pay to play’ becomes the only way to reach an audience that has already indicated they want your content, there is NO additional value added to either party, whereas a mass communication, top down, advertising model goes beyond your fans and potentially exposes you to individuals who may not come across you through social circles or trending shares. Artists and musicians aside, if Facebook is planning on catering only to brands that can afford to keep the wheels greased in order to engage with their fans, the writing is on the wall. They may have a lion share today, but who knows where we will be connecting in another 10 years. I imagine that once the variety of artists, musicians, and creative outlets looking to capitalize on the power of social networking becomes dwindled to the same, few, industry selected, options presented on TV, radio and print, the magic that drew people to connect on Facebook for commercial reasons will fade and the demand will go elsewhere.

  20. Veteran -+US+MUSIC+INDUSTRY+1970-today

    wow … just wow. old saying around the card circuit … if the rules change, change your strategy to fit the new rules. Unless of course you’re the one making the rules, then changing strategies often dictate making a change in the rules. None of my clients are stars. All are good solid working class local/regional (and some outside regions) acts who use one of many platforms – none of which work well alone, but all together have a net positive affect on business. Today is not yesterday, and tomorrow will not be today. Learn to adapt or die.

  21. TT

    You can always direct your fans to your own website.

  22. Gina L Vaughan

    How about people like me, who have a page that isn’t selling anything, that is just providing giggles and visual entertainment and tips to people. I now am expected to pay to provide this service that I am doing for free? It is apparent at this point that FB will become an advertisement where people can meet up with friends.. sometimes… Sorry – soon as there is a viable alternative I and many just like me are gone.. all because you had to get greedy..You’re not making enough off of the ads?? Sad.. you had a really good; really really good thing going.
    Namaste’ Bitches

  23. CrowfeatheR

    Just another reason Zuckerberg refers to his users as “stupid f$%&#rs”. Facebook was always the last place to waste time as an artist, I warned many a fool. Reverbnation was a better place, was. Was. I would spend most time on twitter as a social network platform at this point. CrowfeatheR is not wasting time on any of them at this moment.

  24. Jack Broom

    This quote hits the nail on the head – ‘You have to realize that… not all of those fans were paid for, it was a free platform probably for most of the fans that he acquired.’

    At first when I heard about facebook charging to reach those fans, I thought it was ridiculous. Now I have had time to reflect how it will impact, it is totally understandable and wholly acceptable. This is about creating a platform that continues to engage with the individual user and does not clutter their feeds with irrelevant posts, the high majority of us ‘like’ pages on a whim but to be an actual fan involves adjusting your settings to ensure you see all the content which not every user is aware of.

    If you’re a business with any marketing nous you will straight away realise that content is king. Therefore if you have something worth shouting about you WILL promote it (you will pay). This allows you to reach those fans.

    The question you have to ask yourself is how confident of your pages quality are you? If the answer is not very confident, then you’re probably the type of person opposed to this shift. However if you value your page and treat it like a shop window and want the right type of customer to pass your shop window you have to be willing to commit not just financially but also creatively to ensure that your shop window is seen by the right person which will lead to them coming into your shop.

  25. Art of the Deal

    Any deal requires two interested parties. A fair deal results from reasonable competence and strength of bargaining position on both sides, and the freedom to walk away from the deal. Once one of the parties feels compelled to remain in the relationship the other has much more bargaining power. If you don’t like it then walk. FB doesn’t owe you anything, and you’re not being forced to stay. If you can’t play from strength and walk from the deal then you’ve lost your position. If there’s no breach of an explicit contract or illegal extortion, monopoly, etc, then quit whining and admit that they own the game.

  26. James

    George Takei was, in my honest opinon, overrunning facebook. I’m not one to judge content, but often times I found his posts to be crude, disruptive, and offensive and beyond all of that they were controlling my feed on a daily basis, I’m pretty sure I blocked his content in years past, so maybe that explains for his loss of viewers. I can see perfectly why content like his was demoted in recent updates to facebook, because our daily lives does not need to be controlled by memes. The recent facebook updates promote real content, as in life events and facebook stories. I also try not to spam others with stupid memes and obvious link baits, and I certainly appreciate others (including some artists that may feel in line with the views expressed in this article) that do not spam and update with real content, and I do feel that those artists’ content is somewhat promoted in my feed. I understand the days of the open firehose are over, and some of these artists may sit below bud light ads, but as long as the artist is providing real content, I see no limit to potential of growth. You may ask what my definition of real content is, and I’m sure many of you would agree, it’s not the sale price jordans and watches that your friends get tagged in. So while there are many artists with 10,000 or so likes on facebook, they must also realize what content is reaching their fans, free content/contests are the best, link baits, uninformed opinions, and repeated posts of straight text are the worst. While everyone does want something to click on they don’t want to be confronted with banners, popups, or generally disruptive content. In my personal observation, many of these artists with 10,000 or so likes do provide real content and are real celebrities in their own right, with a real world influence that has not been limited by facebook, but it’s in the content that they sometimes accidently like or share that may turn some viewers off. I also understand that everyone may be looking for something different in facebook, but I can’t think of anything better than free music, contests, and wholesome snapshots posted by artists I admire. As long as you use lists, you too can have the facebook you desire.

  27. Lisa Jey Davis

    Facebook is failing admit, and I don’t see anyone saying this either, that the only way our fans will “see” our sh*t is if THEY choose to engage with us (ON OUR PAGE). Fans have to proactively PROVE to facebook that they want to see a page’s stuff in their newsfeed. This is ASININE. It’s like asking people who want to see Nike products at the mall, to first TRAVEL TO NIKE’s headquarters (with the mall watching of course – or prove to the mall they went)… and only THEN they’ll allow you to readily see Nike at the mall. It’s the stupidest solution (if you could call it that) to a “mature” or over-crowded platform. PERIOD. If people are “liking” a page, that should be ALL FB needs to show they want to see the page’s content. If they get tired of it they can “unlike” the page too. RIDICULOUS. Facebook will say people “like” too many pages… well they already limit the number of pages a person can like, so limit it further. It will increase the value of their “likes” PERIOD.

  28. jacob

    Facebook is going down the path of Yahoo… trying to be too many things to too many people.
    Meanwhile it annoys it’s user base – Facebook shouldn’t forget that the artist is both a user and a client and so are many other small business owners. Also most artist are actually struggling to make even an income. Having them pay just like you charge Nike or Apple is simply unrealistic. Let’s not forget that 99.5% of all artists are individuals with little to no disposable income.

    Facebook just turns around every argument to fit their business model.
    When it pleases them someone who acts as an editor of content becomes a user that can be mined, but when a user, uses the platform he or she becomes a customer who suddenly has to pay for a service. So on the one hand Facebook doesn’t pay for content, in fact mines data and on the other hand charges you for using the platform to stay in touch with a fan base.

    Furthermore – all traditional media organisations actually pay for their contents. That’s traditionally how artists and writers and photographers have been earning money. Suddenly in comes “social” media – and they don’t pay a dime for content that is published on their sites. Now a ‘content creator’ such as a journalist used to earn a living when an editor published his work in the papers. When another media outlet wanted to publish the same article they paid the original paper. In comes “Social” media .. and social media doesn’t play by the rules that made things work. Social Media has new rules. And because social media is new and different to slimey old technophobic traditional media, Facebook and Google don’t have to pay a dime for the content that is published on their sites… no no no no! Because what gets published on their site isn’t published by an “editor”. Content on the “news feed” appears via “sharing” not “publishing” where it originates from doesn’t matter, and Facebook takes up no responsibility for the “post” because it isn’t them who publishes the content but thier “USER”… and a user doesn’t need to get paid, and the content is just that, some thing the user “found” on the internet… like worthless shells lying around on the beach … right? No one worked for it, no one created that content and has to pay rent, artist enjoy what they do – they don’t need to be paid. They can live simply by breathing air. And posting things on their fan-page.

    Brilliant! Thank goodness I never fell for their pages thing, my condolences to those who did…

  29. muserella

    The artist makes good points. I think it’s the fans, really, that have the biggest axe to grind on this issue. We like artists and musicians on Facebook because we want to find out what they are doing. We want to know what they have to share. But Facebook screens the updates for many of us, so we will never hear about news or certainly not learn about it in a timely manner because an update might post on the web, but not on mobile. It’s all kind of ridiculous.

  30. Lu

    I run an autism nonprofit. We have the same issue, having built our relatively small page to 1000+ likes. Now if we have an autism article, or a missing person, or a fundraising walk, we have to pay to get people to see the content beyond a random 28 or so organic views. It’s very frustrating. On the personal page side, I’m sure the ads directed at me make money. But on the nonprofit side, there should be a public service requirement for Facebook to provide free ads and such, just like TV and radio have done.

  31. IgetIt

    I kinda understand the idea but couldn’t this all be avoided if bands make actual fb accounts where people add you as friends? if you are a “friend” and not a “page” people will see your posts more often and I think this is the route we are headed in.

    • Vexx

      That sounds good until you realize FB is also starting to “monetize” FRIENDS reaching each other. Seen that new “PROMOTE” button under your posts. Want you posts to actually *reach* your friends? Press it and for only $6.99 your party pics *might* get to *some* of your friends.

      This is like Fedex tripling their rates and then setting fire to half the packages in any truck. Unreliable communication is what FB seems to be selling.

  32. Harley Highdesert

    this is terribly frustrating both as a facebook user and fan page admin. as a user the pages ive liked because i want to see their content on my newsfeed are no longer showing. i dont need facebook to manipulate whether or not the liked page is spamming my newsfeed. if i feel they are spamming i can either un-like the page or send a ticket. as an admin of a fan page that has over 80k fans its even more frustrating. my page is non-profit. ive spent years amassing those dedicated fans in a very competitive market. now my page is stagnating. ill post a pic or news story and maybe reach a few hundred people where as before the same pic would generate 100s of likes and reach 1000s of people just 3 months ago. the new system facebook has going isnt fair to me and my fellow admins nor to the fans who subscribed to our page because they are interested in the content we post and wanna see it. it would be different i suppose if we were pushing tons of merch or somehow profiting from the page and there was a budget to spend. but we arent and our fans dont want to have a bunch of crap pushed at them anyways………facebook needs to pull their head from their ass because we page owners and admins are leaving in droves and very few are sticking around to pay 5 bucks everytime they want to post something.

  33. Ari Gold

    The problem is that FB encouraged people to spend time and *money* to build Pages, so they could have a way of reaching their own fans. Then, once people had built those fan-bases (again, often spending money to do so), FB suddenly charging people to reach their own fans–more, in fact, than it now costs to reach non-fans! It was a classic bait-and-switch, and if they don’t offer some kind of grace (such as allowing one free post per month that actually goes to all your fans), they will never get any artist to pay to build their brand on FB ever again.

  34. Jon

    How about if facebook wants to charge to reach fans, they also remove ads from your page. That is the current way most mobile apps work. free service with ads, or paid service with no ads.

  35. Wayne Stacy

    I have 375 fans on my FB page, my last post reached 85 of them.

    If 375 people were interested enough in my work to “like” my page then those 375 fans have a right to see every post I make. FB has no right to filter or censor what content my fans see, nor choose which fans get to see it.

  36. Jakomi

    Artists, much as I hate what FB stands for. If you don’t like it then take ORGANISED action. What I mean by that is inform what fans you can of the current state of affairs and encourage them to move perhaps sign up to your website newsletter. If you don’t have one start an email news letter NOW, as current marketing industry statistics show brands have up to a 40x times better conversion rate in respect of getting fans to take action and purchase than social media does. I agree you all helped build FB by driving your fans there and yes it sucks now FB is taking the piss. But having a platform as a barrier between you and your fans was always going to end in tears. You need to have a direct relationship with your fans and no platform barriers in between that relationship. So start organising your self and fans. As until say 5 million artists with an average of 2,000 Fans each start leaving along with their fans and fans friends you are not going to achieve any scale in respect of FB seeing any impact on their user base and or revenue. Only once you’ve organised as detailed above will FB take any notice. But from my understanding of artists and parts of the industry there is way too much disunity to achieve what is required to have that impact. On a final note, savy artists understand it is plain stupidity to rely on a platform such as FB and instead use multiple platforms but also know that you need a DIRECT relationship with the fan and so build large email databases from what were once small email databases…

  37. Howie

    You’re all missing the point. The point is that the reason everyone jumped to use facebook and set up accounts was because it was gaining popularity and it was FREE !! Now they want to charge people in order for their fans/customers to see the bands/brands they liked in the first place for FREE. There’s enough other ways for facebook to make money without doing this. The reality is THEY GOT GREEDY !!

  38. MC

    The answer: look for another way outside Facebook to contact fans. Forget Facebook, go to G+, Twitter, classic RSS or whatever.

    What Facebook forgot here is that CONTENT matters, Facebook without content is nothing but a blue and white web layout. So, if people wants to be in contact with fanpages they will have to go to another place outside Facebook. People will stop watching what they want and will start watching what companies pay for them to see. A good moment for another emergent social network to arise.

  39. Jcarter

    Facebook is a business. As an artist with millions of fans, it’s likely that you are also running a business. The product is yourself. You spent time energy and money promoting yourself, but you never paid any money to the vehicle that helped make it possible to reach so many people. Apparently this is the point where the artists world meets the business world. They don’t always see eye to eye. Art is most certainly free, but wait… no it’s not. Art cost more money than we realize.

    The skill to become a proficient artist cost someone money to train you, feed you, shelter you, clothe you, entertain you etc. No artist became an artist for “free” whether they had to directly pay for it or not.

    Facebook costs a considerable amount of money to operate… Consider it a privileged that it only cost 10’s of thousands of dollars as opposed to hundreds of thousands of dollars to reach millions of people.

    • Anonymous

      “You spent time energy and money promoting yourself, but you never paid any money to the vehicle that helped make it possible to reach so many people.”

      WE DID PAY. Every single individual person that signed up and used their service paid. We paid by choosing to use their free service and by providing content. It is ‘our use’ and ‘our content’ that gave their free service value by making it possible to ‘data mine’ us and sell that data for billions of dollars to advertisers and marketers.

      If they want to make money by charging to reach people, it should be for reaching people that DO NOT already Like your page. I’m not talking about fake likes either. I’m talking about showing you hard data that says ‘these people have been shown statistically to be interested in the type of service you provide’ would you like to reach them for $.

      If people do not want to be hit with targeted advertising, they could pay for a “premium” account to reduce or eliminate adds. This is the way it works for most places that provide a “free service”. It’s free but they use you for something OR you pay and you get it the way you like.

  40. greg

    People on this site are mind boggling. Why are the programmers and developers and all employees not entitled to payment for their work. They’ve created a great platform and you want to use it without compensating them, all the while complaining that consumers at large want your music for free.

    You can’t have it both ways.

    And hate to break it to you, but when a service is free, you’re not the user, you’re the product.

    • Anonymous

      They’ve been paid and then some! How about paying the users for the right to data mine their account usage now that they’ve made billions on that data.

      As far as musicians wanting to be paid, you could add the net income (money they actually received in their possession) of every single musician in the history of recorded music together and still not hit the amount of money facebook has made. Yeah, we’re not happy everybody wants our music for free but then we haven’t made hundreds of billions of dollars off it either. Other may have, but the creators of the actual music HAVE NOT.

  41. Here Ye

    Hello, hello. Let me shed some light… I’ve been in a band now for 4 years (since I was 17). As a band, we have spent unreal amounts of time, writing, recording, playing live, doing promo, traveling the country with money from our own pockets. The way music is, Facebook is the heart of your fan base wether we like it or not – that;s where he fan base lives – that’s the way they interact with us, that’s the way we interact with them. Today, I looked back through our timeline to the beginning (after seeing this piece of news). When we had 400 likes on Facebook, I put a post out, and it reached 320 people. That is a fantastic reach and quite rightly so. Those fans liked our page, therefore when we post to those fans, they should have the right to see the post as much as we have the right for them to see it. Today, we have almost 4,000 likes. If we post, we are lucky if it reaches 80 people – it’s that poor. Instead we have to fork out money every time we want to promote a gig or EP etc. It’s not right and it does cause stress on a band that gets by with very little.

    • CJ

      Artists can post shows to for free (if they have an Artist profile). Fans can subscribe to artists for free. ViaStage shows you the live shows near your location, for free. Anyone can post a ViaStage show onto their social media page (FB, Twitter, etc.) for free. So I think ViaStage is an alternative way to promote the Artist and their shows. I hear their mobile site will be up soon, but the desktop version is working fine.

  42. Benjamin

    And that’s kind of like your audit; they’re checking property genie
    to make sure you ve got time now put down all your assets inside your Self-Managed Superannuation Fund.
    And so, and you can try to project that profit based on the need of students for their college expenses.

    That means if yyou go on a trip, you need to
    make sure that you choose the right school, and think about your expansion plan. To do this financial need, who are
    enrolled for at least property genie one year.

    Visit my web page; inwestycje,,

  43. Anonymous

    I still don’t get it. What about the fans that aren’t on as often as others? We lose reach to them because they aren’t as active due to the fact that maybe they don’t spend as much time on the internet, therefore don’t engage as much. Is it fair to cut them out? Also, if this isn’t for the purpose of lining your pockets, then why is there a boost option with pricing? Call it what you want to, smokescreen us, blow smoke up our asses, but your manipulation of the news feed seems to have an obvious goal, and its not to “clean up users feed.” If the fans liked our pages, they obviously want to get updates, yet you decide who gets updates, not the fans. Seems pretty clear to me what your agenda is about.

  44. sotiria

    I understand that it has become a more crowded place within facebook news feed but shouldn’t facebook let me decided what I want to see and not make the decision for me? I see posts in my newsfeed from 4 days ago that I could care less about. I rather see everything and I can decide for myself who to unfollow.

  45. Claudio

    Just wanna remark on few general things, The website design and style
    is perfect, the subject material is really great
    : D.

    my web page … Joseph Pantel

  46. anon

    The biggest problem is that there are so many bots and click-farms on fb giving out fake likes when you pay to boost a post. IRL an artist pays a private gallery to display art, the gallery has a show and the artist can hopefully sell art to real people at the show. Facebook tries to fool the artist into thinking there are more people than there truly are in the gallery in order to charge more for that exposure. This is fraud plain and simple and they should face legal or civil consequences.

  47. Jake

    It’s simply not fair to the fans. If I follow a band, I want to see every single post they make. Facebook has two newsfeed options, “Most Recent” and “Top Stories.” I assume “Most Recent” will display all posts from all likes, however, facebook keeps reverting my timeline to “Top Stories.” Facebook also hides the fact that you are currently in “Top Stories” mode but when you’re in “Most Recent” mode facebook prominently shows the option to switch back to “Top Stories.” Please like

  48. Kevin Brown

    We provide a platform that feels very much like Facebook but the artist owns the relationship with the fan and therefore does have to pay to reach their own fans. Take a look at

  49. CJ

    Artists can post shows to for free (if they have an Artist profile). Fans can subscribe to artists for free. ViaStage shows you the live shows near your location, for free. Anyone can post a ViaStage show onto their social media page (FB, Twitter, etc.) for free. So I think ViaStage is an alternative way to promote the Artist and their shows. I hear their mobile site will be up soon, but the desktop version is working fine.