Facebook is putting finishing touches to new features on users’ home pages that deeply integrate long-rumored music services from partners including Spotify, MOG, Rhapsody, Slacker and Rdio, according to people familiar with the plans.
The plan is for the site to become a platform for music and media content – as is the current set-up for apps and games – as opposed to hosting content on Facebook’s own servers in the style of Apple, Google and Amazon. It will allow users to listen to music from within Facebook.com. The music and media platform will be announced at Facebook’s f8 developer conference in San Francisco on September 22. Evidence of Facebook’s music platform first surfaced in the code of Facebook’s video chat service.
When asked about the latest rumours about the F8 launch, a Facebook spokesperson told the blog: ‘There’s nothing new to announce.
‘Many of the most popular music services around the world are integrated with Facebook and we’re constantly talking to our partners about ways to improve these integrations.’
Though Facebook is the world’s most popular social networking services with more than 750 million users, its founder Mark Zuckerberg is keen to increase the amount of time users spend in the Facebook environment.
Music is said to be just one aspect of the strategy to improve Facebook’s ‘stickiness’ and it is also expected to partner with other media content owners like movie studios.
“They are working on a platform for music where the goal is to create a connective tissue for fans,” said one person familiar with the talks who asked not to be named as the plans are confidential.
One of our sources specifically mentioned three music services as launch partners: Spotify, Rdio and MOG. It’s unclear whether Facebook has lined up other launch partners for its music platform or whether Facebook will open up its platform to other developers. One of our sources noted, however, that Facebook doesn’t like playing favorites, so our bet is that Facebook will open up its music platform to other third-party developers.
Facebook has declined to comment on its new music platform before, but in July several technology blogs reported a software engineer had uncovered programing code for a Facebook product called ‘Vibes’ for music downloading.
Facebook could give an important boost to its fledgling music streaming partners as they try to compete in a digital music sector dominated by Apple Inc’s iTunes’s download store. Apple is also readying a streaming service called iTunes Match expected to launch this fall.
In the same way Facebook has become a web platform for games and applications created by third party developers, some sources believe it is about to announce the same arrangement for music
Though the prospective business partners have high hopes for Facebook, combining social networking and digital music hasn’t always been a guarantee of success.