Facebook signs deal with Universal to give users access to licensed music

Universal Music Group has licensed music to the social network so that its users can add song to their videos and share them. This also applies to Facebook’s Instagram and its virtual reality arm Oculus.

The deal, described as “unprecedented” in a statement from Universal, will license the content for video and “other social experiences”.

The partnership is the first of its kind for Facebook, whose nearly 2 billion users regularly share videos on the service with their friends and family. Many of those users already add songs to their videos without permission, requiring Facebook to frequently delete the songs and annoy its users.

Universal Music Group’s artists include a who’s who of pop and country like Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, Kanye West, and Katy Perry. It’s unclear what music will be available to Facebook users or when.

“This partnership is an important first step demonstrating that innovation and fair compensation for music creators are mutually reinforcing – they thrive together,” Michael Nash, executive vice president of digital strategy at Universal Music Group, said in a statement.

The companies implied that Facebook users being able to add music to videos is only the first step. In their joint statement, they talked about providing “new music-based experiences” including on Facebook Messenger.

The deal raises the possibility Facebook will cut similar deals with other major record labels.