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Universal Music, Facebook Sign Licensing Deal

22 December 2017, 01:22 | Ruben Fields

Universal Music, Facebook Sign Licensing Deal

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The deal, announced this afternoon (December 21), will give users permission to legally upload and share videos which contain UMG-licensed music across Facebook, Instagram and Occulus for the very first time.

The agreement will have a major effect on both how the consumer experiences social media, how the music industry uses social media for its product, and how artists are compensated for their work. They'll also be able to personalize their music experiences while sharing videos. Facebook says that in the pipeline there are plans to open up "a vast library of music" across multiple social features, though isn't saying exactly what that will entail.

"There is a magnetic relationship between music and community building", said Tamara Hrivnak, Head of Music Business Development and Partnerships, Facebook. If later music-based social experiences are deemed indicative of a track's popularity, for example, then it's easy to imagine a scenario in which artists and labels start pushing for Facebook and related "experience" stats to be considered on the Billboard charts.

"We look forward to Facebook becoming a significant contributor to a healthy ecosystem for music that will benefit artists, fans and all those who invest in bringing great music to the world", he said in the statement.

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YouTube signed a similar deal with Warner Music Group, the third major music label, in May. This deal brings more options for creators and for fans and could potentially allow Facebook to create its own music streaming service, if it so chose.

And the big question - the reason music rightsholders are genuinely excited about Facebook going deeper on music, beyond any big cheques being waved at them - is what can Facebook do that *isn't* just another $9.99-a-month music-streaming service with or without a free tier?

By moving to appropriately license music on its platform, Facebook is also opening the door for further control on user-generated content.



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