Facebook Recruits Jovanie, Lauv, Raiche, Greyson Chance to Layer Birthday Songs Into Stories

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Facebook has tapped a number of emerging stars to bring a touch of originality to ‘Birthday Stories’.

Starting on May 10th, Facebook users can add digital cards, photos, and videos to Stories to help celebrate the birthdays of friends and family.  The new feature is appropriately called ‘Birthday Stories ‘and includes the option to add music stickers featuring famous birthday songs.

Happy Birthday’ by Stevie Wonder;  ‘In Da Club (‘Go Shorty, It’s Your Birthday’)’ by 50 Cent; ‘Birthday’ by The Beatles; and ‘Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen’ by Neil Sedaka are just some of the tunes available.

But here’s where this gets a little more interesting.

In addition to these classic birthday-themed songs, Facebook asked several artists to record all-new tracks for birthday wishes. Jovanie, Lukas Graham, Lauv, Raiche, SYML, Greyson Chance, Harper Starling, and Neda Yasee have all recorded their own renditions of ‘Happy Birthday’ for Facebook.

Facebook Birthday Stories songs is part of a broader push to allow users to incorporate licensed music into personal videos.

In late 2017, Facebook reached a licensing deal with Universal Music Group (UMG), a pact that also included songs from Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG).  That sparked a number of other major deals, including a deal with mega-pub Sony/ATV in January of 2018 and a string of other pacts.

Licensed music for Facebook’s platforms started rolling out in April of 2018, with new in-app tools for including music. Deals like this have slowly shifted Facebook’s platform from a takedown-heavy warzone to a licensed, happy place (though we’re still hearing plenty of reports of muted or flagged posts).

The social media giant argues that these licensing agreements help extend the life of songs beyond their initial release date.

“When there’s a new single, we want to support it. But it doesn’t mean once that single’s over, the song’s dead. It might have a perfect meaning for wedding season, or for your boyfriend, girlfriend, children or graduation.”

Facebook generates nearly two-thirds of social media traffic, with Instagram also a venerable platform for music promotion and distribution.