Facebook Will Now Allow Users to Share Videos Featuring Licensed Music

The deal marks an important milestone in the social company's ambitions to compete with Google's YouTube, now the most popular destination online for listening to music.

Many industry insiders believe that Facebook's brand new venture with Universal Music Group may present a challenge for one of its biggest competitors.

"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", said Michael Nash, executive vice president of digital strategy, Universal Music Group". Under the accord, Facebook users will be able to upload Universal's songs and share music through Facebook, Instagram and Oculus virtual-reality technology, the firms said Thursday in a statement. Eventually, the FB x UMG collab will expand to also include access to UMG's library across multiple social features and music-based products, including a revamped Messenger app.

"There is a magnetic relationship between music and community building", said Tamara Hrivnak, Head of Music Business Development and Partnerships, Facebook. While Universal was first, according to Variety, Warner Music may be next to sign on.

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However it's clear that both Facebook and UMG are hoping to turn music into more of a "social experience" if they can. Users can easily opt to watch music videos on YouTube for free, potentially making it more hard to convert some of its users into paying Remix subscribers. The move will soon bring UMG's music catalog to Facebook, Instagram, and Oculus.

Universal Music Group also has signed an agreement with YouTube. "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".

YouTube, which is owned by Google, is reportedly exploring the launch of a new streaming service in 2018 to compete with Spotify, Apple Music and other on-demand music services.

With Facebook's ever-growing video platform, getting licensing agreements in place sets the groundwork for appropriate compensation when using artist content.

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