Spotify, the streaming music service that’s big in Europe, is coming to Facebook in the form of a special integration, according to Forbes. The rumor of some sort of partnership between the two has been going around for a while. The new report says this integration, which sounds as if it will give Spotify special placement on users home pages, could be coming as soon as the next couple weeks.
The pent-up demand for a seamless, streaming music service on Facebook might finally be met. Licensing issues have until now stopped that from happening (and still are in the US).
The music service already has a relatively popular Facebook platform integration live in its desktop-based player, with 2.39 million monthly active users and 937,000 daily actives according to AppData, our app tracking service. But most of those users are younger men in the United Kingdom; Spotify has not worked out a deal with all the major labels for US distribution, and has not launched in the US as a result, although a number of Facebook employees including chief executive Mark Zuckerberg are users and fans of the service.
Facebook had looked at partnering with a third-party music provider a few years back, but despite many conversations with labels and music startups, no product ever launched. In the meantime, music-based Pages have grown to become one of the most dominant interests that people express on Facebook through Liking Pages. Some 44 of the 100 largest Pages are music-related. A growing ecosystem of music-focused Page service providers has arisen to do things like provide streaming music player applications for bands. It’s unclear how the Spotify integration might help or compete with these other companies in countries where it is available.
The report offers a few more details of how the product will work. A Spotify icon will appear on the left-hand column of the home page, in the top section next to Events, Photos and other Facebook apps rather than in the lower section for third-party applications. Users click the icon to download the Spotify desktop app. The integration, like the current one, will show users what their friends are listening to, as well as publish their own selections to their news feeds. There’ll also be a feature to let people listen to the same song at the same time — some sort of user voice service? The name will either simply be “Facebook Music” or more cobrandedly “Spotify on Facebook.”
Also from the report: Facebook will launch Spotify in the US once a deal with the labels has been worked out.
So all in all, given Facebook’s long-term interest in music, its shared investors with Spotify, as well as the presence of early Facebook visionary Sean Parker on Spotify’s board, this news is not too surprising. Musicians should see new engagement on Facebook as a result, and Spotify should get a big increase in its subscription revenues. Meanwhile, music service providers on Facebook’s platform will need to wait and see if this integration includes anything directly competitive to what they’re currently providing.