Facebook signs music licensing deals with Merlin, Beggars Group, [PIAS] and Ingrooves

Facebook has announced new multi-territory licensing deals with some of the most influential independent companies in the music industry.

The key agreement, naturally, is with Merlin – which represents more than 20,000 independent record labels and distributors, and says that this membership commands over 12% of the global digital recorded music market.

Earlier this week, Midia Research calculated that independent labels collectively generated $4.8bn in trade revenues in 2017, with self-releasing artists generating a further $472m.

Like other recent deals announced by Facebook with Universal Music Group, Sony/ATV and Warner Music Group, the Merlin deal covers use of music across the main Facebook platform, in addition to Instagram, Oculus and Messenger.

MBW understands that Facebook’s current music deals involve ‘blind’ advances being paid to rights-holders, and as such are not tied to music usage data. However, Facebook is believed to have committed to building a royalty tracking platform which will launch in the future.

Charles Caldas, Merlin CEO, commented: “Merlin’s global membership is at the heart of the evolution of the global digital market, in which digital innovation is delivering previously untapped value. This exciting new partnership ensures that the world’s leading independents are set to benefit from Facebook’s multi-platform music strategy, both now and into the future.”

Jeremy Sirota, Independent Label BD Lead, Facebook, said: “We are excited to partner with the thousands of global labels represented by Merlin, Beggars, [PIAS] and Ingrooves. We value their history and artists, and we’re thrilled that they’re supportive of Facebook’s vision of what music can bring to people on our platforms. This is just the beginning – we look forward to continuing to expand opportunities for the independent community to empower their voices.”

Writing in a blog online, Tamara Hrivnak, Head of Music Business Development and Partnerships, Facebook, said: “Our partnerships with Merlin, Beggars, [PIAS] and Ingrooves will provide people with access to music from a significant number of independent artists – music as diverse and unique as they are. We’re thrilled that independents are joining Facebook on our journey to build community together with music.”

Source : Music Biz Worldwild

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