Universal Music, Facebook Sign Licensing Deal

Universal Music, Facebook Sign Licensing Deal

Depending on the nature of future music-based social media experiences made possible by this agreement, the impact on the music industry could be palpable. Under the deal, Facebook has agreed to compensate Universal and musicians when users post videos that include copyrighted material. Over time, this could expand to users being able to access the archives of UMG music as part of the social platforms.

Universal - home to some of the biggest names in music from The Beatles to Elton John and Lady Gaga - billed the agreement as its latest success in securing more revenue from songs in an age of round-the-clock Internet sharing.

The partnership, he adds, is "an important first step demonstrating that innovation and fair compensation for music creators are mutually reinforcing - they thrive together".

YouTube is expected to launch a new paid music service next year after striking three deals with major labels this year, including UMG, which signed a second global, multi-year agreement with the site this week. Universal, a unit of French media conglomerate Vivendi, has rights to music from artists including Jay-Z, Rihanna, Bruce Springtsteen and Justin Bieber. 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, Universal Music Group's executive vice president of Digital strategy, said in a statement.

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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?

Facebook is trying to get people to watch and share more videos.

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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