Universal Music, Facebook Sign Licensing Deal

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.

Users will also be able to create their own videos using music from Universal’s library, and to share videos featuring Universal artists across social graphs.

The companies say they plan to create a roadmap for delivering "new music-based experiences online.” Details were vague in the release, though the participation of Oculus implies that virtual reality experiences would be a part of that long-term plan.

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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It was not immediately clear, however, how Universal and its artists would be compensated for the use of their music.

It is possible some products could be supported by advertising. Bloomberg reported earlier this year that Facebook was “offering major record labels and music publishers hundreds of millions of dollars so the users of its social network can legally include songs in videos they upload.”

A spokesperson for Universal Music had not responded to a request for clarification, as of publishing.

Universal Music signed a new deal with Google’s YouTube platforms earlier this week  that expanded music video rights and added flexibility for artists to decide where their music appears on that platform.

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