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Facebook challenges music streaming giants with Universal Music deal

22 December 2017

Facebook's deal with Universal Music Group comes as the world's largest social media site is making a big push into video to keep users on its site and attract advertisers.

Facebook and Universal Music Group (UMG) have announced a new global agreement which will see UMG license its music and publishing catalogues for video on Facebook and its affiliated platforms.

Bloomberg was the first to report the news.

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The two companies, in a joint statement, said they were developing more personalized functions in a bid to "develop the next generation of music products that best engage social consumers".

Of course, Facebook users could previously create videos with copyrighted music and share them to the network.

Ever wanted to post a video of you singing Demi Lovato's "You Don't Do It For Me Anymore" or Kanye West's "Heartless" without fearing Facebook removing the video? With the video site's focus on user-generated content, YouTube enjoys protection under United States law that largely absolves internet companies from responsibility for users' activities. There is also speculation that this could bolster Facebook's attempts to get further into the video market with high-end video content. Seeing this as "Facebook strikes deal to make its own Spotify" is missing the bigger opportunity, but it's very early days. The deal sets Facebook up as a more direct competitor to Google's YouTube, the most popular destination online for listening to music.

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"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 Universal Music Group", said Tamar Hrivnak, Facebook's head of music business development and partnerships.

Michael Nash, executive VP of digital strategy for Universal Music, stated the new deal was "an important first step demonstrating that innovation and fair compensation for music creators are mutually reinforcing".

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Facebook challenges music streaming giants with Universal Music deal