Perhaps now we can better understand why last week Facebook announced that they would be cracking down on bands using copyrighted content in their livestreams. Today, Facebook announced a licensing deal the three major labels, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, to allow gaming streamers to play their music during the streams.
Facebook, looking to compete with Twitch, has announced a licensing deal far superior than what's available for Twitch users. According to a report from Billboard:
The deals announced on Monday (Sept. 14) include multi-year pacts with Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, along with their respective publishing companies; as well as Kobalt Music Group, BMG publishing and Merlin; and cover more than 90 countries. While Facebook declined to specify the total number of songs included, a company spokesperson said that "when we look at the music played on platform, the vast majority is covered" and "restricted tracks are very rare."
The deals cover full songs as well as clips of songs, so long as the music is not the primary focus of the livestream (meaning the music is supplemented by commentary, gameplay with sounds or both). Along with covering music played during livestreams, the deals also apply to clips made from a livestream and video-on-demand (VOD) versions of livestreams, but do not extend to separately edited and uploaded VOD content. The new feature is rolling out first to streamers enrolled in Facebook Gaming's "partnership" program (which allows its most popular creators to monetize their followings) with a wide release to come. In the meantime, Facebook Gaming invites non-partner creators to choose from its existing cross-genre library of thousands of royalty-free songs.
This almost contradicts the new guidelines they set for music streamers last week, but perhaps the difference is, unlike with a live performance, the music isn't the main draw here, the gameplay is.
The story notes not all music is now available to use under the gaming platform, and Facebook will be muting parts of the video that contain copyrighted content with no license. Facebook will notify the user if this happens.
Do you use Facebook Gaming?