Facebook Signs Deals with Rightsholders in India and Thailand, Includes Tap Through Songs to Spotify

Facebook is signing new deals around the world — and steadily building out its music functionality.

As SXSW, Facebook made a slew of announcements.

First, the social media giant has signed new licensing deals with major labels in Asian countries, specifically Thailand and India.

Unveiling partnerships with GMM Grammy and RS in Thailand, along with T-Series, Zee Music Company, and Yash Raj Films in India, Facebook now has deals with rightsholders in 40 countries.

The licensing deals cover the use of copyrighted music across video, messages, stories, Lip Sync Live, and other content across three platforms – Facebook, Instagram, and Oculus VR.  The social media giant first signed partnerships last year in the US, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, New Zealand, and Australia.

Explaining the importance of the new licensing deals in both countries, Anjali Southward, Director of International Music Publishing at Facebook, said,

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.

The social media giant also introduced a new feature.

Building on the ability for users to add songs to their Profile pages, Facebook has added the ability to ‘tap through to’ Spotify.  Working together with the streaming music giant, this will allow users to stream songs in their entirety on Spotify.  The new feature builds on the social media platform’s expansion into music – most notably with Lip Sync Live and Music on Facebook Stories.

Speaking about the new features, Tamara Hrivnak, the company’s Head of Music Business Development and Partnerships, explained,

Our goal is to bring music into all the ways that people connect and share where they already are on our products today.

“So, different from being a standalone music destination, we’re striving to bring music into the natural points where people connect and share across our family of apps.

In addition, the social media giant introduced new features for its Facebook Watch Party platform.  Most notably, the company will now roll out support for live TV.  The feature allows users to watch videos together in real-time.

The company explained,

When you start a Watch Party, you’ll see a new option called “on TV,” where you can select the live game.  From there, the Watch Party will feature the live game score as you discuss and react in real time alongside other fans.

Building on the Watch platform, Facebook has confirmed over 20 all-new episodes of Red Table Talk starting in May.  The show features Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow, and mother Adrienne.

To increase social engagement on the platform, Facebook also confirmed it will introduce a new Watch Party experience.  Users can host Watch Parties around what happens on live TV.  The company will also introduce trial runs with interactive content, such as the ability for hosts to add trivia questions about player stats or fun facts as well as live polls around which sports team will win.  Eventually, the social media giant will add live events and ‘cultural moments,’ including awards shows, highly anticipated show premieres, and more.