Facebook and Universal Music Group strike music licensing deal allowing users to share videos

As if constant sharing wasn’t exasperating enough, Facebook and Universal Music Group have struck a deal regarding music licensing that will make is easier for music enthusiasts to bombard family members with videos of the latest Gorillaz album or the newest Martin Garrix single.

The two companies have officially announced a global, multi-year agreement allowing Facebook users to share videos containing music licensed by UMG. “In time,” states a press release regarding the partnership, “functionality will expand to enable access to a vast library of music across a series of social features.” In the past, Facebook has worked to remove videos containing content from UMG licensed artists. Terms of the deal were not disclosed in the joint press release.

The move comes fresh off the heels of Universal’s deal with Soundcloud back in 2016 and, more recently, their global agreement with YouTube a mere week ago.

Their deal with Facebook licenses music and publishing catalogs for video and social platforms, including Instagram and Oculus.

“There is a magnetic relationship between music and community building.” says Tamar Hrivnak, head of music business development and partnerships at Facebook “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.”

The deal addresses major copyright issues around music licensing, and its tumultuous relationship to social media. While the agreement is only the first step in solving the enigmatic relationship between social media and music licensing, Facebook states that it will work with UMG to launch “music based products” on its platforms, including a music based messenger app.

“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,” Michael Nash, Universal’s Vice President of digital strategy states in the joint press release. “This partnership is an important first step demonstrating that innovation and fair compensation for music creators are mutually reinforcing — they thrive together.”

Barring the duo’s joint press release, neither Facebook nor Universal provided information regarding their digital product strategy.

“As with our deal with Spotify earlier this year and our license renewal with YouTube,” said UMG’s Chief Executive Officer Lucian Grainge in an internal company memo, “our deal with Facebook leverages the experience we’ve gained and the wealth of data we’ve amassed to win both greater flexibility as to how our music is offered to the public as well as fairer compensation for our artists — as we continually refine the balance between direct promotion and monetization.”

Universal is the first label to sign an agreement with Facebook, but the Verge reports that they are also in talks with Warner Music Group and Sony regarding licensing deals.

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