Facebook offers ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’ to labels and publishers for global licences

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Facebook is offering record labels and publishers a quick fix advance which would allow its 2bn-plus users to start legally using music in their videos.

The social media giant is reportedly working with industry leaders to build a system which identifies and tags music copyright – but creating a thorough platform of this ilk could take up to two years.

In the interim, say Bloomberg sources, Facebook has offered music rights-holders “hundreds of millions of dollars” to permit its users to play with copyrighted tracks as soon as possible.

No solid figure is given by Bloomberg but think on this: last year, according to the IFPI, recorded music rights-holders received $553m from video streaming services.

If Facebook could near-double that figure in 2017, it may turn the heads of major music rights-holders even further away from YouTube.

However, if Facebook’s reported nine-figure bung is divided up on market share, you can expect the independent sector to have a thing or two to say about it.

Negotiations on Facebook’s side are being led by former Warner Music Group and YouTube exec Tamara Hrivnak, who joined Mark Zuckerberg’s company in January.

Facebook reportedly wants to get a blanket music licensing deal in place before the launch of Watch – its new hub for video – as it rolls out plans to fund the production of original TV-style series.

The firm has been on a major music business hiring drive over the past year.

Earlier this year, MBW spotted that Facebook was advertising for three music-focused licensing positions, which revealed that the firm was set to launch a “comprehensive music strategy”.

Two of those jobs related to music publishing: North America Music Publishing Business Development Lead and International Music Publishing Business Development Lead.

Another fell on the recorded side of the business: a Label Music Business Development Lead tasked with ‘leading Facebook’s strategy and negotiations’ with music labels throughout the world. Other music-related vacancies have followed.

In July, Facebook acquiring copyright identification platform Source3.

Source 3 was co-created by Patrick Sullivan and Ben Cockerham, who both have history in the music industry.

They were also the co-founders of music IP-focused rights management tool Rightsflow, which was sold to Google in 2011.

Prior to launching Rightsflow in 2007, now-Source 3 CEO Sullivan was VP of Music Services at music distribution platform The Orchard for almost three years from 2005 – establishing the business in EMEA, US, LATM & Australasia.

He also previously worked at online music retailer eMusic, as well as the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and mechanical rights clearing house the Harry Fox Agency.Music Business Worldwide

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