I’m Lauren Landon and I’m part of the Music Deals and Partnerships team at Meta. I lead our day-to-day partnerships with music publishers and collecting societies across Europe, Middle-East, Africa & Latin America, as well as advocating for songwriter needs across our family of apps. We have a small but mighty team – most of our publishing crew have experience in rights management at collecting societies and music publishers, so have a great appreciation of what’s important to songwriters.
How did you start your career in music?
I interned at PRS for Music when I was 16 and went back every summer on a short-term contract in between studying. Music is the love of my life and I couldn’t believe I could work for a company full of music nerds! When I graduated, I was offered a full-time position and stayed for just under 5 years. PRS for Music was an amazing place to work – I made life-long friends, started an ABBA tribute band and most importantly, learnt all about the wonderful – but complicated – world of music publishing.
How did you end up in the music team at Meta?
I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship between music and technology. Four years ago, one rainy day in January, I saw Meta (then Facebook) was hiring and I jumped at the opportunity to work where music and big tech intersect. I always felt that Facebook and Instagram had a unique opportunity to enable people to express themselves with music – especially in our leaned-back world of streaming – there’s a unique opportunity to be more action-oriented (produce, like, comment). I wanted to be part of the team that was shaping music experiences where nearly half the world’s population tapped in each month. Most of my colleagues are industry veterans, with a mission to grow digital music opportunities for artists, songwriters and people. I love it.
On Meta’s music journey…
Tell us about Meta’s journey in music so far?
Meta’s music journey started roughly 6 years ago, when we forged our initial partnerships with the music industry, anchored in the idea that music can be a tool to bring the world closer together. Since then, Meta has invested significantly to bring new music features to our platforms. I think it’s fair to say that our focus has been on innovation and building community with music. One of our most popular music features is our Music Sticker, which has enabled people the ability to soundtrack their everyday moments on Facebook and Instagram.
What’s your biggest achievement on the Meta team so far?
In many ways, our music team at Meta operates like an internal music consultancy, offering expertise in licensing, product development, creative campaigns and rights management. For the past couple of years, our publishing team’s focus has been on ensuring we’re able to provide the best possible picture of music usage on our platforms, via data improvements in partnership with music publishers and societies. We know this is really important to the industry, so we’ve invested heavily to build this functionality. Of course, this mission is an on-going journey, but I’m really proud of the developments we’ve made in this space.
What are some of the challenges?
Our publishing team license a vast number of collecting societies and publishers around the world, and song ownership changes all the time. This means it can be difficult to identify who controls what, in what region. In general, the lack of standardisation in the industry – from a data perspective in particular – is challenging for us, as it is for all parties operating in music. Progress is being made, but there is still a way to go towards an efficient, fair and equitable industry, built on a common foundation of data standards.
Why has Meta partnered with the Ivors Academy?
I’m excited that Meta are Ivors Academy corporate partners for a second-year now. Our team cares deeply about advocating for songwriters at Meta, as well as amplifying songwriter voices on Facebook and Instagram. The Ivors Academy’s support and celebration of songwriters, as well as vocalisation of industry issues, has helped bring big tech organisations and music rightsholders closer together, which is so important for the industry as a whole.
Top tip for songwriters looking to make the most of their Facebook and Instagram pages?
I’ll keep it short and sweet. Reels (our short-form video space) is the most powerful way to reach unconnected audiences on Facebook and Instagram. The energy from Reels is contagious! I would also say, simply join the conversation, be you and be collaborative.
If you’d like to learn about how you can maximise your Facebook and/or Instagram presence, as well as find out about music at Meta more generally, I’m running a webinar for Ivors Academy members on 28 February – I would love to see you there.
This is an event for members only. Join The Ivors Academy.