Facebook has reportedly offered the major record labels and publishers “hundreds of millions of dollars” for its members to have the legal use of music in videos uploaded to its platforms. Bloomberg reported that this offer to the industry coincides with the debut of Facebook’s new Watch hub for video content. Watch is expected to have both professional content and videos uploaded by the social network’s members. Without a contract with the labels, Facebook would have to remove videos with music that infringes on existing licenses.
The social network has been seeking deals with the labels as making several high-profile hires in the music space for several months. And although the focus of these deals has been for video, having audio to soundtrack the clips would help Facebook to make a run at challenging YouTube. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that video will be a key driver of business in the coming years and the company will be making many investments into that space.