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Facebook strikes first major music rights deal with Universal Music

The companies implied that Facebook users being able to add music to videos is only the first step.

Representatives from Facebook and UMG didn't immediately respond to a request for further comments. The new deal, however, will allow users to post videos and 'facilitate deeper engagement between artists and fans, empowering users to express themselves through music, share the songs they love and build communities around music-fuelled culture, ' according to Facebook.

Facebook's agreement with Universal - especially if competitors Warner Music and Sony Music reach similar deals - could eventually raise questions for Vevo, a site created in 2009 by the three big labels to monetize their videos. On the other hand, now that Universal has its first licensing deal with Facebook, it opens up the door for other stuff down the road.

A successful music streaming service would strengthen YouTube's relationships with music rights holders.

"This partnership is an important first step demonstrating that innovation and fair compensation for music creators are mutually reinforcing - they thrive together", Michael Nash, executive vice president of digital strategy at Universal Music Group, said in a statement. "We are excited to bring that to life on Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and Messenger in partnership with UMG", she said today. The licensing agreements would be vital for a successful YouTube streaming service, with music fans unlikely to embrace a platform that has glaring gaps in its catalogue.

Mark Zuckerberg isn't selling songs, or music streaming subscriptions.

Facebook is finally getting into the music business. The agreement works across all of Facebook's platforms, including its newsfeeds, Instagram and Oculus, according to a joint press release.

Over the past few years, Facebook has been more aggressive with removing videos with copy-written music, but this could allow the rules to be slightly more lax while having UMG taking a cut of ad revenue. Seeing this as "Facebook strikes deal to make its own Spotify" is missing the bigger opportunity, but it's very early days.

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