For the past few months, there was a lot talk about Facebook and Spotify getting closer as companies, with a much tighter integration between the two services. However, Facebook’s musical ambitions go beyond Spotify and include other music services and applications. The company is currently working on lining up more partners for the 2011 edition of f8, its annual developer conference, which is most likely to be held in August 2011.
Facebook's Music Plans
It seems that Facebook, after consolidating its position in three major Internet sectors – retailing, news and games – is now getting serious about music and media. At The Cable Show held recently in Chicago, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts extolled the values of cloud-based services and explained why cloud-based guides and interfaces are going to be key to television’s future. He showed off a deep integration with Facebook that can make television more social with recommendations from your social graph.
Just like Comcast, Spotify already allows you to share the information about the song that you are listening to on Spotify with your Facebook friends, but the next level of integration is going to be much deeper. And it won’t be just Spotify – my sources tell me that Facebook has been reaching out to other online music services and much of the attention at f8 should be focused on music. Facebook Connect and Facebook Likes are key components of this effort.
Facebook Music Features
Whether it is Pandora, Turntable.fm, SoundCloud or iTunes, listening to music, sharing music and then talking about is inherently a social activity and it makes perfect sense for Facebook to encourage this social behavior. Also, as we become an always-connected society, the idea of downloading and buying music is slowly giving way to the idea of “subscribing” to a giant library of music.
Facebook’s music plans are aimed at capitalizing on just such a future. Here is what Facebook is planning to launch as part of its music efforts, based on pitches it has made to some of the music services:
- In the left-hand column, right where Facebook lists Photos, Friends, Places, Groups, Deals, Pages, and Games, you will find a new tab called Music. This tab will show up if a user has listened to music with one of Facebook’s partner music services.
- Clicking on this new tab will open a page called Music Dashboard.
- The Persistent Playback/Pause Button at the bottom of the Facebook page, where currently you have the chat icon. This button essentially is like a quick snapshot and controller of the music experience. Mouse over it and you can see what is playing on whatever service you might be logged into using Facebook Connect. It also allows you to play or pause a track once you discover it on Facebook. It is also linked to the play buttons in the news feed.
- A page with snapshot of all the songs you have listened to on any specific service and also your top tracks and the number of times you have listened to those tracks.