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Facebook Set To Challenge YouTube With Music Licensing Deal

Facebook is in negotiations with record labels to license music for user-generated content and music videos on the social media site.

Bloomberg reported Facebook has met with labels, music publishers and trade associations as part of its push to allow users to post videos containing commercial music. A music anti-piracy tool from Facebook revealed by Billboard in November last year could be used to alleviate concerns of music labels if implemented as part of a potential deal.

The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), which represents over 800 publishers in the US, found that copyrighted music is being used extensively in Facebook videos.

“In a recent snapshot search of 33 of today’s top songs, NMPA identified 887 videos using those songs with over 619 million views, which amounts to an average of nearly 700,000 views per video,” NMPA President and CEO David Israelite wrote in an article for Billboard last year.

Facebook’s anti-piracy tool could be used to automatically identify copyrighted music in videos and remove them if a licensing deal was not in place, similar to the system currently in place on YouTube.

A deal between Facebook and the music industry could also allow labels and artists to post their music videos directly on Facebook, challenging YouTube’s dominant position.

YouTube’s Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl reported that the company had paid over $1 billion to the music industry from advertising in 2016, highlighting the potential for revenue on Facebook as well as other social media platforms.

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