Facebook has taken its first real steps into the music business

Facebook has taken its first real steps into the music business

Kenneth Drake
December 22, 2017

YouTube and the record labels have had to overcome disagreements over the sharing of advertising revenue, the features and music available to free users and viewers outside the US.

Not a coincidence: The press release announcing the deal quotes Tamara Hrivnak, the Facebook business exec who negotiated the deal with Universal.

While music postings are omnipresent on Facebook, the company attempts to take down embedded content that is copyrighted, with fans either uploading their own videos or linking to other sites such as YouTube and Spotify.

Universal Music Group and social media giant Facebook have signed a global licensing arrangement that will make the publisher's music catalogs available for video and "social experiences", across Facebook, Instagram and Facebook's virtual reality company Oculus. That could include Facebook and Instagram videos made by users with the music in the background.

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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.

"This partnership is an important first step demonstrating that innovation and fair compensation for music creators are mutually reinforcing - they thrive together", said Michael Nash, the label group's executive vice president of digital strategy. Universal also declined to comment.

The partnership is the first of its kind for Facebook, whose almost 2 billion users regularly share videos on the service with their friends and family.

Per The Verge, Facebook has also been in similar talks with Warner Music Group and Sony Music Group. Facebook's aggressive push into video has intensified competition with YouTube. The deal sets Facebook up as a more direct competitor to Google's YouTube, the most popular destination online for listening to music.