Facebook strikes global licensing deal with Indian music label Saregama

Facebook said on Wednesday it has entered into a global deal with Saregama, one of India’s oldest and largest music labels, to license its music for video and other social experiences across its eponymous service and Instagram.

The partnership, which comes weeks after Swedish music giant Spotify also signed a deal with Saregama, will allow users to choose from a wide variety of music to add to their social experiences such as videos, stories via music stickers and other creative content, Facebook said. Users will also be able to add songs to their Facebook profile.

Saregama, one of the oldest music labels in the world, is the best place to find tracks from several India music legends, including Lata Mangeshkar, R.D. Burman, Mohammed Rafi, Talat Mahmood, Manna Dey, Kalyanji-Anandji and Hemant Kumar. The giant says its library contains more than 100,000 Bollywood songs, ghazals and more in over 25 languages.

Kolakata-based Saregama’s shares surged by 20% on the news.

Facebook maintains similar deals with other music labels in India, its biggest market by user count, including Yash Raj Films, Zee Music Company and T-Series, one of the top YouTube channels worldwide. Bloomberg reported last year that Facebook was also in talks with international music labels and had started testing video music in India and Indonesia.

“At Facebook, we believe music is an integral part of self-expression and bringing people closer together and creating memories that last. We are very proud to partner with Saregama that will allow people on our platforms, globally, to use their favourite retro Indian music to further enrich their content on our platforms,” said Manish Chopra, director and head of Partnerships at Facebook India, in a statement.

Facebook has also signed deals with music labels such as Universal Music Group to license its recorded music and publishing catalogs for video and other content across its services, including Oculus. In 2018, Facebook also signed a deal with Spotify to allow users to share Spotify albums and tracks to Instagram Stories — a feature it added to Facebook Stories last year.

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