Starbucks and major liquor conglomerate Diago (Guinness, Schmiroff) are among the latest major companies to pull advertising off of Facebook and Instagram.
Coca-Cola, Unilever, Hershey’s, Honda, Patreon, and Verizon are among the growing list of companies that have pulled their ad dollars.
Some are targeting Facebook while others are exiting all social media spending over unease about how misinformation and hate speech, including problematic posts by President Trump, are handled.
So far no major music company has joined in.
Here is what a musician and music industry boycott of Facebook and Instagram might look like and why the industry is hesitating.
Stop Giving Facebook Money (And Taking It From Them)
The first step in any music boycott would be to stop giving the social media giants money.
The problem is that for many artists, labels and promoters, boosting a Facebook or Instagram post or Event is the single most effective way reach a target audience.
Even for many emerging artists musicians, a $25 – $100 or more Facebook or Instagram boost is a standard part of every show’s marketing plan. New releases usually trigger a bigger spend.
There is no obvious alternative for artists, so taking away boosts and ads on Facebook and Instagram comes with real consequences.
It could be argued, however, that no live shows and fewer releases a boycott should be easier.
For labels and publishers, the Facebook relationship is even more complex. After all, the social media giant dished out hundreds of millions of dollars in advances to all three majors and indie trade group Merlin less than two years ago.
A Full Boycott
If musicians and the music industry want to send the strongest message possible, they could stop all new posts on Facebook and Instagram.
But while there are plenty of alternatives – Twitter, TikTok and more – few handle hate speech and misinformation any better than Facebook.
And then there’s the many hours and dollars spent growing a following there.
Is it time for musicians and music companies to boycott Facebook and Instagram?
Ir is a better question, are they willing to take the hit if they do?