Facebook steps into YouTube with Universal Music Deal

Future Business

"Under this 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", the companies said in a statement.

Facebook is getting more musical.

This comes at the end of a year when Facebook hired a series of industry veterans for its music team, including former WMG and YouTube executive Tamara Hrivnak, who is now Facebook's head of music business development and partnerships. Facebook says that in the pipeline there are plans to open up "a vast library of music" across multiple social features, though isn't saying exactly what that will entail. While Universal was first, according to Variety, Warner Music may be next to sign on.

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

The licensing deal could help Facebook better compete with Alphabet Inc's YouTube since music videos are the most popular category on the site, said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research.

"There is a magnetic relationship between music and community. We are excited to bring that to life on Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and Messenger in partnership with UMG", she said today.

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Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Last year, the site made a concerted push into livestreaming with Facebook Live, letting users with a smartphone broadcast everything from press conferences to their dinner parties to the world at large. In the pipeline, it also paves the way for a potential Facebook Music service, which could rival Spotify and Apple Music for on-demand streaming playback. That deal promised to give "recording artists songwriters improved content flexibility and growing compensation from YouTube's ad-supported and paid-subscription tiers, while also furthering YouTube's commitment to manage music rights on its platform".

Earlier this month, Facebook released its own collections of songs and song effects.

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