Facebook signs global licensing deal with Universal Music Group

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Facebook and Universal Music Group (UMG) today announced an ‘unprecedented global, multi-year agreement’ under which UMG licenses both its recorded music and publishing catalogs for video and other social experiences across Facebook, Instagram and VR platform Oculus.

According to a press release: ‘The partnership will facilitate deeper engagement between artists and fans, empowering users to express themselves through music, share the songs they love and build communities around music-fueled culture. Enabling a variety of features across Facebook’s platforms, the agreement is intended to serve as a foundation for a strategic partnership roadmap that will deliver new music-based experiences online.’

Under the partnership, users will be able to upload videos that contain licensed music and ‘personalize their music experiences’ on Facebook, Instagram and Oculus, while sharing videos with friends and family.

Functionality will expand in future to ‘enable access to a vast library of music across a series of social features’.

Tamara Hrivnak, Head of Music Business Development and Partnerships, 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.”

“We are excited to bring that to life on Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and Messenger in partnership with UMG.”

Tamara Hrivnak, Facebook

Michael Nash, Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy, 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.”

Going forward, the companies say they will ‘experiment hand-in-hand to introduce new music-based products to these Facebook platforms, including Messenger, with the goal of catalyzing innovation to develop the next generation of music products that best engage social consumers’.


In an internal message to staff obtained by MBW, Sir Lucian Grainge told his UMG workforce:

“I’m proud to announce this morning the first partnership between a major music company and Facebook, the largest social media company in the world.  We’ve entered into a global multi-year agreement which licenses UMG’s recorded music and music publishing catalogs for use in video content created by users across Facebook, Instagram and Oculus.

“As our new relationship with Facebook demonstrates: by continually re-evaluating how to bring our artists’ music and videos to global audiences, by developing new and increasingly progressive business models and by spurring competition among both established tech players and startups alike, UMG has been and will continue to be the most significant catalyst for our industry’s growth.

“As with our deal with Spotify earlier this year and our license renewal with YouTube, our deal with Facebook leverages the experience we’ve gained and the wealth of data we’ve amassed to win both greater flexibility as to how our music is offered to the public as well as fairer compensation for our artists.”

Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG

“As with our deal with Spotify earlier this year and our license renewal with YouTube, our deal with Facebook leverages the experience we’ve gained and the wealth of data we’ve amassed to win both greater flexibility as to how our music is offered to the public as well as fairer compensation for our artists—as we continually refine the balance between direct promotion and monetization.

“Of course, in an environment this dynamic, our work is never done.  Nor would we want it to be.  Innovation and imagination are critical — in both music and the music business.  As technology keeps evolving, we’ll keep fighting for our artists to ensure that their music earns for them what it so richly deserves.

“I’d like to thank the invaluable contributions from every member of our team in making this agreement a reality.  Thanks to all your work we’ll remain the world’s leading music company for many years to come.”

Music Business Worldwide

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  • Wendy Ilene Botha

    another step in killing physical sales. . .

    • Dylan Shaw

      physical sales have BEEN dead

      • Wendy Ilene Botha

        In some countries yes, but not all countries have access to decent data. So I am thinking about the thousands of jobs where physical sales are still a factor, from manufacturing to sales. Recent studies in the Netherlands show that with streaming, physical sales are on the rise again. ALSO vinyls were also DEAD right…

        • Wendy Ilene Botha

          I think Taylor Swift just proved with the right strategy, PHYSICAL is not DEAD

    • Don Ho

      What century are you living in stupid?

      • Wendy Ilene Botha

        Very mature comment. Thank You

  • Don Ho

    My god Lucian Grange is a seriously ugly man. I’m surprised he hasn’t had at least some plastic surgery to improve his looks.