Facebook has entered into an exclusive distribution partnership with Pan Macmillan, Rocket Entertainment and Waterstones to stream the full-length feature An Evening with Elton John on its on-demand video service Facebook Watch.
Facebook is calling the event “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear directly from a living legend the truth about his story”.
The video celebrates the release of his official autobiography Me from UK publisher Pan Macmillan and sees the superstar speak with British comedian and author David Walliams.
In the lead up to the launch date, audiences will see long form and episodic video footage of the event shared on Elton John’s personal Facebook page and Instagram account.
Elton John has 2.3 million followers on Instagram and 6.5m likes Facebook, compared to 1.45m subscribers to his YouTube channel.
The video was filmed and produced by Whitecoat TV in front of a live audience in partnership with Waterstones and Pan Macmillan at the Eventim Apollo, London.
The full-length feature will be available exclusively on Facebook Watch on Monday November 25, with a fan-attended ‘Premiere’ hosted on the platform at 7pm GMT, allowing viewers to discuss, react and share stories together as the conversation unfolds in real-time.
This exclusive partnership with one of the world’s biggest artists is obviously a major win for Facebook.
It follows recent comments made by the firm’s Head of Music Business Development and Partnerships Tamara Hrivnak, while speaking to MBW last month, about Facebook’s ability to partner across its various apps and services and how one of its goals is to help tell artists’ stories “outside of their music”.
Hrivnak said: “When we look at digital music today, we see that music streaming has become very powerful and popular, and we think that’s wonderful; it means strength in the business of delivering plays and playlists.
“But what has gotten lost in the evolution of music to digital is the ability for artists to tell their stories outside of their music, to connect the tracks on an album together, and to connect with fans. We’re seeking to fill that gap, which we think is an important opportunity both for artists and for people. That’s our main goal.
“What has gotten lost in the evolution of music to digital is the ability for artists to tell their stories outside of their music, to connect the tracks on an album together, and to connect with fans. We’re seeking to fill that gap, which we think is an important opportunity both for artists and for people. That’s our main goal.”
Tamara Hrivnak, Facebook
Added Hrivnak: “We share with our partners the desire to fill that gap in the ecosystem. Partners often describe this [opportunity] as using the magic of social and bringing it to music – there’s always been this elusive [understanding] that social is important to music, and I think Facebook and Instagram have come to the table to really deliver on that.
“The other thing our partners are excited about, and we share this optimism, is the ability to partner across our family of apps and services. Unlike other technology services who might create a single-destination music [platform], we’re looking to put music where people already are, and where they’re sharing and connecting. That presents a new, different and expansive opportunity for music that we’re all excited about.”
“It has been great sitting down with my dear friend David and reflecting on my book and career.”
Elton John said: “It has been great sitting down with my dear friend David and reflecting on my book and career.
“It was a really enjoyable conversation, and I’m delighted that my fans around the world who couldn’t get to the event will be able to watch it on Facebook Watch.”
“Facebook is a place where the relationship between fan and artists can grow – this was a special and exclusive evening and through Facebook Watch we’re able to open it up to his millions of fans around the world.”
Sibyl Goldman, Facebook
Sibyl Goldman, Vice President of Global Entertainment Partnerships, Facebook, added: “Elton has over 6 million followers globally on Facebook, and through our platform he offers a unique glimpse into his life and uses it to celebrate his musical milestones with fans.
“Facebook is a place where the relationship between fan and artists can grow – this was a special and exclusive evening and through Facebook Watch we’re able to open it up to his millions of fans around the world.”Music Business Worldwide