Facebook has inked deals with music giants that will let its billions of users watch hit music videos alongside viral cat clips and political rants, the company said Friday.
Official music videos from artists such as Nicki Minaj, Bob Marley and the Jonas Brothers will go live on the social network Saturday thanks to Facebook’s new partnerships with labels including Sony Music Group, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and BMG.
They will live in a dedicated section of the Facebook Watch video platform featuring new and popular videos along with playlists like “Hip Hop MVPs” and “Epic Dance Videos,” the social-media giant said. Users can react to, comment on and share the clips just like any other video on Facebook, company officials said.
“Official music videos on Facebook are about more than just watching a video,” Vijaye Raji, Facebook’s vice president of entertainment, said in a statement. “They’re about social experiences from discovering new artists with friends to connecting more deeply with artists and people you love.”
Facebook will also host exclusive video premieres in the coming weeks from artists including Colombian reggaeton stars J. Balvin and Karol G. The company did not disclose details of its partnerships with music firms, but it said it’s working with independent publishers as well as large conglomerates.
The effort comes as Facebook-owned Instagram reportedly prepares to launch Reels, a short-form video app built to rival TikTok, which has skyrocketed new artists like rapper Lil Nas X to mainstream fame.
Music videos are also among the most popular content on Google-owned YouTube. The video for Luis Fonsi’s 2017 song “Despacito” is the platform’s most-watched clip ever with more than 6.8 billion views.
Facebook cast the launch as a “natural next step” in its efforts to help artists find opportunities and connect with fans. The platform already allows users to add background music to their own videos, while artists have used augmented-reality filters and Facebook Live broadcasts to promote their work.