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Three Important Questions About Vine's New Music Offering

Vine is letting users add music to their videos for the first time.


Music is big on Vine, both for professional artists looking to promote their content and regular creators looking to use those songs as background music for their own videos.

If you’ve spent more than two minutes on the app over the past two years, you’ve likely come across a video with a musical track playing in the background. Those tracks have never come from Vine itself — Viners add them using third-party apps and external editing tools. But on Thursday, Vine added a music feature to the app that lets users overlay licensed music onto their videos.

Twitter often claims Vine is a big part of its plan to get more video — especially mobile video — into your Timeline, and this move should encourage creators to do just that. But content ownership rights can be tricky. We’ve seen bigger video platforms like Facebook and YouTube deal with these issues in the past. (In Facebook’s case, it was just this week.) For Vine, offering licensed music is a first step toward working with the industry before it starts to face similar copyright issues.

How does Music on Vine actually work? Here are a few important elements of the new feature.

How much music is available to users?

Not a lot. We counted fewer than two dozen song options after we downloaded the update this morning, and those were all hand selected by Vine’s editorial team. That number is likely to grow.

Are Vine’s music options free?

Yes, at least for now. Vine won’t say whether it is getting the tracks for free or paying a license fee.

Is Vine making money off this?

Not right now, but it seems possible down the road. The most obvious option would be to charge users for in-app song purchases, splitting the revenue with the artists or label. Vine could also drive traffic to the iTunes library and take a small cut of purchases that happen there.

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