Why Facebook Just Signed a Deal With Universal Music

December 21, 2017, 7:20 PM UTC

You’ll soon be able to legally add some of the hippest background music to those dog and cat videos you post on Facebook.

Universal Music Group has licensed music to the social network so that its users can add song to their videos and share them. The deal, announced on Thursday, also applies to Facebook’s Instagram and its virtual reality arm Oculus.

The partnership is the first of its kind for Facebook, whose nearly 2 billion users regularly share videos on the service with their friends and family. Many of those users already add songs to their videos without permission, requiring Facebook to frequently delete the songs and annoy its users.

Universal Music Group’s artists include a who’s who of pop and country like Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, Kanye West, and Katy Perry. It’s unclear what music will be available to Facebook users or when.

The two companies did not reveal the terms of their partnership. But Facebook has offered record labels hundreds of millions of dollars for their music rights, according to Bloomberg.

“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.

The companies implied that Facebook users being able to add music to videos is only the first step. In their joint statement, they talked about providing “new music-based experiences” including on Facebook Messenger.

The deal raises the possibility Facebook will cut similar deals with other major record labels.

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Earlier this week, Facebook rival YouTube signed deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment in prelude to debuting a paid music streaming service next year. The Google-owned service cut a similar deal with Warner Music in May.

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