Facebook could be about to enter the music streaming wars and take on Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal, according to reports.
Website Music Ally claims that the social networking giant is currently in talks with record companies about running music videos monetised with advertising as the forerunner to the launch of an on-demand audio service.
Music Ally says: "The first phase will see Facebook paying royalties to music rights holders for plays of their music videos on its service, while also launching a system akin to YouTube’s Content ID to help those rights holders identify and then either take down or ‘claim’ user-uploaded videos featuring their music - getting associated ad revenues in the latter case."
Plans for a music video service are said to be "at an advanced stage" and are expected to go live by the end of summer.
Apple's new music streaming service went live last week following a blaze of publicity which saw the tech giant back down after complaints from Taylor Swift over its initial decision not to pay artists during its 90 day trial period.
Her album 1989 is now available on the service but her music is still not available on Spotify after she complained about the royalties that are paid to artists.
Recent figures in the UK showed that the number of songs played on music streaming sites jumped by a massive 80 per cent last year. Already this year there have been 11.5 billion streams there compared to 14.8 billion for the whole of last year, with growth figures likely to be just as high here in Ireland as competition in the market hots up.