Facebook has signed a licensing pact with Global Music Rights (GMR), a music rights management company that represents the likes of Pharrell Williams, Bruno Mars, Drake, and Bruce Springsteen. Notably, GMR was founded by music mogul Irving Azoff — who has been one of the most vocal critics of YouTube’s treatment of artists and labels, Bloomberg notes.
The deal will allow user-generated video clips featuring songs by GMR artists to legally remain on Facebook, as well as its Instagram, Oculus, and Messenger platforms. At the same time, Facebook announced in a blog post composed by newly-tapped music business development head Tamara Hrivnak that it has forged deals with two other licensing groups: SESAC’s HFA/Rumblefish, which reps indie songwriters, and Kobalt Music Publishing, whose catalog includes Paul McCartney, Elvis Presley, Max Martin, and Dave Grohl.
“Our partnership with Facebook reflects that when music is valued properly, it’s easy for both sides to view it as a win-win,” Azoff, a noted music exec and talent manager, said in a statement. Its pact with Facebook marks GMR’s first-ever user-generated content deal, and is telling given that Azoff has repeatedly knocked YouTube for underpaying artists and enabling copyright infringement to flourish.
Last month, Facebook reached a licensing pact last month with the world’s biggest label, Universal Music Group, and last week it signed a deal with the world’s biggest publishing company, Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
“We appreciate Facebook’s willingness to recognize the economic contribution of songwriters as well as its effort to create a system that properly streamlines payments moving forward,” NMPA president and CEO David Israelite said in a statement. “Other digital services should take note and follow suit.”