By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
One of the most problematic things about distributing your content online is music. Most rights deals are cost prohibitive due to royalty payments ranking higher online. But Facebook is changing all that with a worldwide music licensing deal with Universal Music Group.
“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.” – Tamara Hrivnak, Head of Music Business Development and Partnerships, Facebook in a statement
The deal is what Universal calls a “foundation” agreement that is designed to experiment with bringing new music based products to the Facebook platform. This could mean that the social media giant is considering making a foray into a subscription music service down the road.
This partnership is an important first step in demonstrating that innovation and fair compensation for music creators are mutually reinforcing – they thrive together. 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. – Michael Nash, Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy, Universal Music Group
For now, however the deal will allow users to personalize their online content and music experiences with music from Universal’s vast catalog with artists including Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Steve Wonder, and U2 while sharing that content with friends and family. That content is limited to posts to Facebook and Instagram, as well as creators of Oculus’ Virtual Reality experiences, but users will be able to legally add a musical soundtrack from the UMG catalog for free.
The deal also gives Facebook a leg up over YouTube, which has had to deal the fallout of issuing copyright strikes and take downs of videos, to the complaints that come with their algorithm being too aggressive. One YouTuber had his video taken down for using his own music that had been licensed by Sony.
It’s so much easier if you just get a blanket agreement that will cover a multitude of sins, and Facebook can afford to pay any associated royalty payments that may occur. It also will attract content creators to exclusively post up on the social media giant, rather than rival streaming video and audio sites.
The partnership will also extend to future music related products with an eye on innovation, as Facebook and UMG will work hand in hand to give content creators new tools to express themselves through video and music.