Facebook Now Supports Music in 40 Countries With New Deals in India & Thailand

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Facebook's logo is seen in Ankara, Turkey on July 25, 2018.

The social giant has signed new licensing deals with major labels in the Asian countries, as it expands its music products globally at a rapid pace.

Facebook has now formed partnerships with leading rightsholders in 40 countries around the world, including its newest additions India and Thailand announced on Wednesday (March 13). 

The licensing deals cover use across social experiences such as videos, messages, stories, Lip Sync Live and other creative content on Facebook, Instagram and Oculus VR. 

In India, Facebook's agreements include labels T-Series Music, Zee Music Company and Yash Raj Films. The Thailand deals are with labels GMM Grammy and RS. The music is all now available for use internationally as well. 

The recent deals and 40-country tally mark swift growth for Facebook's global music licenses since the social giant launched the music products in April last year in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand. Even at the end of 2018, it only announced agreements in 15 countries. 

"I think one of the keys to our success has been that we view our role as connecting partners to products, not products to partners," Anjali Southward, Facebook's director international music publishing, tells Billboard. "I think our partners have been really appreciative of our collaborative approach and we've been lucky because they've been very innovative and forward-looking and have been willing to take risks with us, which has enabled us to move so fast."

The India deal is of significant importance for Facebook, coming at a time when the country has been one of the social network's top growth markets. It also comes on the heels of streaming services Spotify and YouTube Music's own launches there. That country's cultural relationship with music, much like Thailand's as well, says Southward, was also an important consideration in getting these deals done.

"When it comes to India and Thailand we see in those countries such strong user growth and we know that it's a vibrant music market, so we want those users to be able to feel like they have access to the music that matters to them in their communities," says Southward. 

On Wednesday, Facebook also announced the ability to tap through songs added to profiles -- a feature introduced last year -- to stream them in their entirety on Spotify. More listening services will be added in coming weeks. It is another example of Facebook further integrating music into the social experience, as well as how it works with DSP partners, rather than competitively. 

"Our goal is to bring music into all the ways that people connect and share where they already are on our products today," says Tamara Hrivnak, Facebook's head of music business development and partnerships. "So, different from being a standalone music destination, we are striving to bring music into the natural points where people connect and share across our family of apps."


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