Facebook’s music strategy is ramping up and it’s frosty relationship with the music industry is melting into a partnership.
Following deals with Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and Sony/ATV Music Publishing. the social giant has signed on the independent music sector via deals with Merlin, Beggars Group, [PIAS] and Ingroove.
Similar to its deals with the majors, these contracts will make their catalogues available to users on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Oculus, who will be able to upload and share videos containing the companies’ licensed music.
Facebook has been busy gaining the industry’s confidence, with similar rights deals previously locked in with Kobalt Music Publishing, Global Music Rights, HFA/Rumblefish and pan-European rights company ICE, which supports over 250,000 rightsholders and multi-territory digital music companies.
Facebook independent label business development lead Jeremy Sirota said:
“We are excited to partner with the thousands of global labels represented by Merlin, Beggars, [PIAS] and Ingrooves. We value their history and artists, and we’re thrilled that they’re supportive of Facebook’s vision of what music can bring to people on our platforms. This is just the beginning — we look forward to continuing to expand opportunities for the independent community to empower their voices.”
Merlin CEO Charles Caldas said:
“Merlin’s global membership is at the heart of the evolution of the global digital market, in which digital innovation is delivering previously untapped value. This exciting new partnership ensures that the world’s leading independents are set to benefit from Facebook’s multi-platform music strategy, both now and into the future.”
[PIAS] chief digital officer Adrian Pope said:
“[PIAS] has always worked with the world’s most creative and inspirational independent artists and labels and has a firm belief that music makes the world a better place.
“Facebook’s ongoing commitment to such repertoire and recognition of its value is highly encouraging. We’re pleased that Facebook is fairly compensating rightsholders, and we look forward to working closely with them to help artists and labels develop exciting new ways to engage with global audiences.”
Ingrooves CEO Bob Roback said:
“We are excited to partner with Facebook to allow access to our incredible catalog of independent label content. This deal both fairly compensates our labels and expands their opportunities to cultivate deeper engagement with their fans across the dynamic Facebook platforms.”
While deals terms haven’t been disclosed, Complex believes it may not be long until Facebook and related “experience” stats could be considered for the US Billboard charts.
Obviously, the deals are a massive play to own the space dominated by YouTube. And with 2.2 billion monthly active users and 800 million over on Instagram, Facebook has a damn good chance.
Back in December, TIO‘s own journalist Lars Brandle reported Facebook’s music strategy signalled “the beginning of the end of a sometimes frosty relationship between the music business and the tech giant”.
“[Facebook] has been accused of building its empire off the back of others’ copyright without passing on the stuff that folds,” Brandle wrote.
With the two foes now new friends, expect high-end video content through brand partnerships, new features to connect with music fans, and a huge push for music sales, merchandise and concert tickets.