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Facebook Pursues Music Video Rights in Challenge to YouTube

Record labels have been itching for Facebook to step up and give them a credible alternative to YouTube.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar performs as a special guest on the Coachella stage during week 1, day 1 of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 13, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella )

Rapper Kendrick Lamar performs as a special guest on the Coachella stage during week 1, day 1 of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 13, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella )

Photographer: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images North America

Facebook Inc. is pursuing rights to music videos from major record labels, programming that could boost interest in its Watch video service, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company is in the midst of negotiating new licensing deals with the three largest music companies, Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group, and has asked for music video rights, said the people, who declined to be identified discussing transactions that haven’t been announced. Facebook has already begun testing music videos in Thailand and India, said two of the people.