It’s a trend–or, at least, it’s almost a trend.
Sony/ATV is following in the footsteps of Universal Music Group and signing a deal with Facebook to let users soundtrack their videos on Facebook, Instagram, and Oculus with songs from the publisher’s catalog. That means songwriters will get royalties for Facebook plays and your cool cousin gets to use Drake to soundtrack all her skateboarding videos, while that one guy from your first office job can post an endless stream of Ed Sheeran songs after he changes his relationship status to “it’s complicated.” (Try Facebook’s new “snooze” feature if that happens.)
Other artists in Sony/ATV’s contemporary roster include the Chainsmokers, Pink, Sia, and Pharrell Williams, as well as the songs of the Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Carole King, and Queen, many Motown songs, and standards including “Over The Rainbow,” “Moon River” and “Singin’ In The Rain.”
Facebook is trying to position itself as a more artist-friendly alternative to YouTube. Last month, UMG became the first music company to ink a licensing deal, and Variety has reported that Warner Music may soon follow.