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Facebook signs deal with Universal to give users access to licensed music

Universal Music Group is to become the first major music company to license its recorded music and publishing catalogues for use on Facebook, Instagram and virtual reality platform Oculus in a global, multi-year agreement.

The deal, described as “unprecedented” in a statement from Universal, will license the content for video and “other social experiences”.

Under the partnership, users will be able to upload videos that contain licensed music on Facebook, including Messenger, Instagram and Oculus. It will eventually expand to enable access to a vast library of music across a series of social features.

The partnership will facilitate a “deeper engagement between artists and fans, empowering users to express themselves through music”, Universal said, and is “intended to serve as a foundation for a strategic partnership roadmap that will deliver new music-based experiences online”.

Tamara Hrivnak, the head of music business development and partnerships at Facebook, said: “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.”

Michael Nash, the executive vice-president of digital strategy at Universal Music Group, said: “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 while enhancing the social experience of music for their fans.

“This partnership is an important first step 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.”

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