Record labels have been itching for Facebook to step up and give them a credible alternative to YouTube.
Facebook is seeking to strike deals with major record labels in order to get rights for music videos and boost interest in its Watch video service, according to a report.
The company is already 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, Bloomberg reports, citing unnamed sources. Facebook has already begun testing music videos in Thailand and India, said the report.
Facebook’s current deals with record companies let users include songs in the background of videos they post on the social network. But Facebook doesn’t yet have the rights to offer the official music videos to hit songs.
Music videos are among the most popular genres on YouTube, the world’s biggest online video service, and may increase video consumption on Facebook.
Record companies have long complained that YouTube doesn’t pay them enough, considering the amount of music consumed on the site, and they also argue YouTube has been too loose with copyright protections.
Facebook commands more than 2 billion users a month and Instagram attracts more than 1 billion. Both social-media services are already vital promotional tools for artists, and musicians.