Facebook signs multi-year music deal with Universal

Angelo Anderson
January 20, 2018

And a year ago, FB founder Mark Zuckerberg told analysts that Facebook users watched an average of 100 million hours of video on the platform every day, though it has struggled to monetize that traffic.

The licensing deal is expected to help Facebook compete better with YouTube where music videos are the most popular category. It's a deal that follows much speculation surrounding Facebook's aspirations in the music industry, and is likely only a small insight into what's in store for the company's future.

Users will also be able to create their own videos using music from Universal's library, and to share videos featuring Universal artists across social graphs.

For years, artists have complained that streaming services don't adequately pay them for their music. Facebook was offering labels hundreds of millions of dollars for music rights, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg earlier this year.

Michael Nash, executive VP of digital strategy for Universal Music, stated the new deal was "an important first step demonstrating that innovation and fair compensation for music creators are mutually reinforcing".

Up to now, music companies haven't been compensated when fans posted clips with music - a source of dismay as video viewing on Facebook mushroomed. But the result pleased no one. Rumor has it Facebook is in talks with the other two as well, it might not be long before you can use nearly any song in existence in a Facebook video.

The accord announced Thursday could lead to deals with other music labels and wider use of music and related videos in social media. "We are excited to bring that to life on Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and Messenger in partnership with UMG", Facebook Head of Music Business Development and Partnerships Tamara Hrivnak said in a statement on Friday.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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