technology

Sony Music Publishing, Facebook Sign Deal for Online Videos

Updated on
  • Recording industry to gain revenue from social media postings
  • Wedding videos, clips with music snippets, safer from removal

Sony/ATV Music Publishing signed an agreement with Facebook Inc., seeking a share of the social media industry’s burgeoning revenue by letting users post songs from artists like Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.

For Facebook users, the deal means they will no longer have some videos, such as clips of wedding dances, taken down because of the snippets of music being played.

The multiyear accord is the first between the top music publishing company, which oversees a catalog of 3 million songs, and Facebook, the parties said Monday in a statement. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but the companies said the accord would give songwriters the opportunity to earn royalties when their music is used on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook has now signed agreements with two of the largest music companies in the world, offering the record industry a bulwark against its bete noire, YouTube, as well as a new and potentially significant source of revenue.

The record industry is in the third year of a recovery thanks to paid services Spotify and Apple Music, which have persuaded more than 100 million people to pay a monthly fee for access to a library of millions of songs. Yet most people still listen to music for free on advertising-supported radio, on-demand services or social networks.

Music executives are hoping to increase sales from free outlets, which contribute a minority of the sales despite their large audiences. Facebook was offering the music industry hundreds of millions of dollars, people familiar with the matter said last September.

Facebook doesn’t yet have the rights to host professional music like YouTube. The social media service signed a similar deal with Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group last month.

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