Merlin, Beggars Group, [PIAS] & Ingrooves Sign Licensing Deals With Facebook

Facebook HQ
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Facebook Inc. logo is displayed in front of the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. on May 18, 2012. 

The indies join major labels Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group in a recent string of deals expanding the social network's music strategy.

Following deals with major labels Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group, Facebook has turned its attention to the indies and on Friday (April 20) announced new deals with Merlin, Beggars Group, [PIAS] & Ingrooves that will make their catalogs available users on the social media network. Under the agreement, users of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Oculus will be able to upload and share videos containing the companies' licensed music. 

"We are excited to partner with the thousands of global labels represented by Merlin, Beggars, [PIAS] and Ingrooves," said Facebook independent label business development lead Jeremy Sirota in a statement. "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.”

The new deals follow a recent string of similar licensing agreements in Facebook's expanding music strategy to establish itself as a valuable ecosystem for music rights holders. Other recent agreements have included Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing, Global Music Rights, HFA/Rumblefish and the pan-European rights hub ICE.

"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," said Merlin CEO Charles Caldas in a statement. "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."

As of the fourth quarter of 2017, Facebook had 2.2 billion monthly active users and Instagram had 800 million. With these new deals -- depending on users' regions as they relate to licensing deals -- those users will soon be able to incorporate licensed songs by such Beggars Group acts as Radiohead, FKA Twigs and Queens Of The Stone Age and [PIAS] releases including Father John Misty, Flume, Oasis and others. 

"[PIAS] has always worked with the world's most creative and inspirational independent artists and labels and has a firm belief that music makes the world a better place," said [PIAS] chief digital officer Adrian Pope in a statement. "Facebook's ongoing commitment to such repertoire and recognition of its value is highly encouraging. We're pleased that Facebook is fairly compensating rightsholders, and we look forward to working closely with them to help artists and labels develop exciting new ways to engage with global audiences."

Added Ingrooves CEO Bob Roback: "We are excited to partner with Facebook to allow access to our incredible catalog of independent label content. This deal both fairly compensates our labels and expands their opportunities to cultivate deeper engagement with their fans across the dynamic Facebook platforms."