Facebook has sealed a deal to allow copyrighted music videos to be used across its social media sites. The deal with Universal Music, thought to be worth several hundred million dollars, will allow Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Oculus Rift users to share and listen to music without breaching copyright.
This marks the first time a major music company has licensed its recorded music for use on these platforms and is the first step to competing with streaming giants such as Google-owned YouTube’s online music videos.
The deal will initially allow users to share music without risking infringing copyright, but Facebook said it was planning to expand its music offering “to enable access to a vast library of music across a series of social features”.
The music industry has long battled with illegal online music sharing, with artists losing out on royalties as their work is shared across social media.
Facebook head of music Tamara Hrivnak said the deal would allow Facebook users to “open up creativity, connection and innovation through music and video”.
“There is a magnetic relationship between music and community building. We are excited to bring that to life on Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and Messenger in partnership with UMG.
Music lovers, artists and writers will all be right at home as we open up creativity, connection and innovation through music and video.”
Initially, users will be able to upload licensed music content from Universal Music, create personalised experiences and interact with musicians, ultimately across Facebook’s different social networks. It’s not yet clear what Facebook’s own “social features” for music will look like.
Michael Nash, executive vice president of digital strategy, Universal Music Group added
“Together, Facebook and UMG are creating a dynamic new model for collaboration between music companies and social platforms to advance the interests of recording artists and songwriters while enhancing the social experience of music for their fans,”
“This partnership is an important first step demonstrating that innovation and fair compensation for music creators are mutually reinforcing — they thrive together.”
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although industry experts estimated the deal would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars in rights to Universal.