Facebook has completed a series of agreements for the right to show music videos, according to people familiar with the matter, turning the social network into a medium dominated by YouTube.
Partnerships with the three largest music companies, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group, are expected to be announced soon, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
Music videos are one of the most popular genres on YouTube, and Facebook has always sought legal rights to allow billions of users to view and share them on its platform. Facebook had previously signed agreements with rights holders to use useful audio when people upload clips that include background music, for example, but did not have permission to display the official videos.
Now, Facebook has reached out to some artists and music companies about acquiring exclusive rights to some music videos, if only temporarily, the people said. In some cases, Facebook has said it would be willing to pay the costs of video production, and that it would promote the video on its service to increase audience, they said.
A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.
Facebook has been looking for more ways to increase video consumption on its service, taking advantage of a promising market. Video advertising is often more lucrative than other types of ads, and video-based rival TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, has been rapidly gaining users. At the same time, music video consumption has skyrocketed on YouTube during the coronavirus pandemic.