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Warner joins the Facebook licensing party

By | Published on Monday 12 March 2018


Warner Music has announced a “holistic partnership” with Facebook. I can’t work it out. Is that more or less exciting than the “dynamic new model” Universal Music announced that it had agreed with Facebook back in December? Sony/ATV’s deal with Facebook was “groundbreaking”. And when collecting society hub ICE announced its Facebook alliance, that was a “landmark” deal. What do you reckon? Which one wins?

For those labels, publishers and collecting societies still to announce their deals with the late-to-licensing-but-wow-what-an-advance-cheque social media firm, here are some other options for describing your suck-it-and-see user-generated-content Facebook deals:

1. “We are really pleased to announce a fully-integrated immersive licensing construct with our new friends at Facebook”.

2. “This is a leading-edge, game-changing, innovative deal with Facebook that will enhance the way fans engage with our artists and songwriters”.

3. “We are THRILLED to form a mutually-beneficial fraternal alliance with our trusted allies at Facebook that will result in the realisation of new visions and new ambitions for music online”.

4. “Today we enter into a creative collaborative co-operative with Facebook to capitalise on the curational capital and connected community of our combined crowd and crew”.

5. “Fuck it, it’s a big fuck-off advance cheque, and when it fucking turns out in two fucking year’s time that we’ve been royally fucked over, we’ll get our fucking trade bodies to bang on about the fucking ‘value gap’ some more”.

But for now back to this “holistic partnership” between Warner and Facebook, which covers both the mini-major’s labels and those Warner/Chappell publishing catalogues that are licensed via direct deals rather than society-negotiated arrangements. “The deal paves the way for fans to create, upload and share videos with licensed music from their favourite artists and songwriters”, says Warner, and not just on Facebook, as the deal covers Messenger, Instagram and all that Oculus VR nonsense.

And now for some actual quotes…

Ole Obermann, Chief Digital Officer at Warner Music Group: “Our partnership with Facebook will help expand the universe of music streaming and create supplementary revenue for artists. Fan-created video is one of the most personal, social and often viral ways that music is enjoyed, but its commercial potential is largely untapped. This collaboration will lead to new possibilities for our artists, while enhancing the user experience across Facebook, Instagram and Oculus, and enabling people to communicate and express themselves using the music they love.”

Eric Mackay, EVP, Global Digital Strategy at Warner/Chappell: “The team at Facebook is creating a truly innovative product and is showing real commitment to its participation in the growth of the music business. We’ve taken our time to arrive at the best possible deal, one that recognises the value that music creates on social networks, while empowering our songwriters to reach audiences around the world, in a way that will spark creativity and conversation among their fans. Our incredible catalogue of songs will be represented throughout Facebook’s platforms and we’re excited to work together to create new opportunities for both our songwriters and Facebook’s users”.

Tamara Hrivnak, Head Of Music Business Development And Partnerships at Facebook: “When Facebook and music come together, we have the power to bring people closer together. Music brings to life the happy, the sad, the throwback and the funny in all the moments and messages we share with friends. We are delighted to partner with Warner, its artists and songwriters, and welcome them to our platforms”.

Yeah, mine were better.