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Facebook signs music licensing deals with T-Series, Zee Music and Yash Raj Films

Facebook has partnered with T-Series Music, Zee Music Company and Yash Raj Films to let its users share music through videos, messages and stories on Facebook and Instagram, reports Mint.

Note that Facebook signed a ‘multi-year’ (unspecified) deal with Universal Music Group to license its recorded music and publishing catalogs for video and other content on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Oculus in December 2017. In May 2018, Facebook, Instagram and Spotify inked a deal allowing users to share Spotify albums, tracks, artists, and playlists directly to Instagram Stories, with promised integration for Facebook Stories. In January 2018, Amazon announced its first music content deal with Zee Music before it launched Prime Music in India.

Facebook’s deals with these music labels comes at a time when Spotify and YouTube Music have both launched in India back to back in the last month. Spotify is battling Warner Music Group in India over streaming rights, even as its deal with T-Series allowed it to launch in India. Spotify is currently available in 78 countries with 207 million MAUs, reporting a 29% YoY growth in Q4 2018. YouTube claims to have 1 billion users on YouTube monthly, and that 2 million artists share their music.

Tech giants skewing the balance in music streaming

Note that in October last year, the Indian Music Industry came out with a report which detailed the policy issues in the Indian and global music industry, faced by multiple stakeholders. The report cites legal provisions like the The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the United States, saying that the value “has now shifted too far, in favour of tech companies. The companies are now worth billions but content owners are unfortunately penalised. Safe harbour provisions have worsened the value gap.” It seems that “Spotify and Apple pay $22 dollars a year per user to the industry, whereas, YouTube pays less than a $1 dollar per user.”

Facebook’s growing user base and revenues

For Q4FY19, Facebook reported a 30% year-on-year increase in revenues to $16.91 billion, of which ad revenue was $16.6 billion (or 98%), while revenue from payments and other fees was $2.7 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2018. Mobile ad revenues accounted for 93% of ad revenues, up from 89% in Q4FY18.

  • Around 2.7 billion people now use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger each month
  • Over 2 billion people use at least one of the four services every day
  • In the investor call, CFO David Wehner said that DAU growth was driven by growth in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines

Also read: BMG to license music through SESAC in India

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