Is Facebook banning livestreamed worship?

facebook livestream Oct 07, 2020

Have you heard of the new Facebook terms of service that came into effect on October 1st? Chances are you have, especially if your church livestreams its services. Some churches are fearing that the new updates will be the end of their Facebook livestream services.

"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 Music guideline

Upon first glance, it sounds like a death sentence. Not only for worship music but for live music in general. Musicians fear that streaming their live gigs will get their pages banned.

The rumours that Facebook was "Banning livestreamed music events" began increasing, and unfortunately led to some churches changing their entire livestreaming strategy as a result. 

But are the rumours true?

So what does it actually mean? 

*Honestly? Not much if you've been doing the right thing. According to Snopes researchers, these terms aren't actually new. 

A Facebook representative cleared up the situation in a blog post and said:

  • "Music in stories and traditional live music performances (e.g., filming an artist or band performing live) are permitted.'

It is, however, a good time to ensure your church has the proper CCLI streaming license. This way, your church is protected. Facebook is continuing to crack down on unlicensed music and their detection algorithms are becoming more and more advanced.  

Other things to be mindful of: Make sure that while streaming there's no pre-recorded music playing over the speakers, and that any pre-recorded videos used don't have music you don't have the rights to.

Need royalty-free music? In my opinion, the cheapest and best selection belongs to soundstripe. They even have playlists specifically for churches! I am not affiliated with them in any way, I have just used them for years and genuinely think they are the best. 

Have any questions about your church's livestream? 

As a streaming consultant, I know how complex it all can be! I'm over on our new Facebook Group personally answering any questions you might have about livestreaming. See you there! 

- Alex

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