Facebook tipped to sign music-video licensing deals for Watch


Up to this point, Facebook’s music-licensing deals have focused squarely on user-generated content. But for several years now – for example in the days when Vevo’s relationship with YouTube was thought to be on the rocks – there has been speculation about whether Facebook might fancy licensing music videos for its service.

Now, according to Bloomberg, it may be taking that leap. Its report claims that Facebook is “pursuing rights to music videos from major record labels, programming that could boost interest in its Watch video service” as part of its licensing renewals with the three major labels.

It also claims that Facebook is already testing music videos in India and Thailand.

The excitement from the music industry is understandable: Facebook is one of the few companies with the heft to be a serious competitor to YouTube in this area, if it has the desire.

The potential benefits for Facebook are interesting too: while it announced in June that Watch had 140 million daily active users – up 87% since the end of 2018 – there has been regular speculation that the feature hasn’t really caught fire yet with the social network’s users.

Stuart Dredge

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