Facebook on Friday added licensed music videos to the social network in the US, challenging YouTube for the attention of online audiences. Facebook said users will be able to “come together” around official music videos, with the promise of premier content from J. Balvin, Karol G, Sebastian Yatra, and other artists.
“With official music videos on Facebook, we’re creating new social experiences that are about more than just watching the video,” music business development vice president Tamara Hrivnak and entertainment vice president Vijaye Raji said in an online post. “We’ll continue working with our music partners to build unique social experiences and bring music into the ways people connect and share.” The Facebook “music experience” was already available in India and Thailand, but is making its US debut this weekend, according to Hrivnak and Raji.
The roster of US partners included Sony Music Group, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and BMG. Google-owned video-sharing service YouTube boasts more than 2 billion monthly users, many of those people tuning into music videos. Subscriptions to YouTube premium content such as music have been climbing, according to recent earnings reports by parent-company Alphabet.
Interest in streamed entertainment has surged during the pandemic, as people staying home to avoid the virus turn to the internet for music, films and television.