At f8 last Thursday, music services such as Spotify, Vevo, Rdio and Mog gained the ability to publish the listening activity of their users to Facebook’s new home page Ticker. The exposure to the friends of their users through the tickers has led to big gains for some music partners.
Most significantly, Spotify has gained one million new monthly active Facebook-integrated users since f8 to reach 4.4 million MAU. It spiked from 1.12 million to 3.25 million daily active users the day after f8, and appears to be settling back to roughly a quarter million new DAU. Rdio, MOG, and Deezer have also seen significant gains in their numbers of Facebook-integrated users.
The total user growth for these services could be even higher. Exposure through the Ticker could be encouraging more users to sign up but not necessarily integrate their accounts with Facebook. This won’t be the case for Spotify, though, as it now requires new users to have a Facebook account, even if they don’t grant the app publishing rights.
Our AppData tracking service for Facebook apps only records users who grant these apps access to their Facebook accounts, so these figures should be interpreted as representative of recent user count changes rather than as absolute total user counts.
With few other Open Graph apps contributing stories to the Ticker, the home page redesign and new ability to publish activity without users having to explicitly share each listen is creating a bonanza for music apps that were prepared for the changes. The redesign appears to have rolled out already to all US users, although we’re not sure what the total potential user base was here.
Spotify in particular was poised for explosive growth, as it already had the largest user base with 2 million paying customers compared to the next largest competitor Rhapsody which has 800,000. Spotify had also been aggressively pushing users to connect their Facebook accounts in order to view the playlists of friends via large prompts on the app’s homescreen.
Spotify is falling from its peak the day after f8, with 1.61 million DAU yesterday and 1.48 million today. Still, user counts are stabilizing and so the service could come away with as many as 30% more Facebook-integrated users than it had before f8. Spotify is also the top “Featured Music Service” in Facebook’s new Music dashboard. The rapid growth of Facebook-integrated users has big implications for Spotify’s bottom line, as CEO Daniel Ek said those who connect their Facebook accounts are twice as likely to become paying customers.
Rdio, the music app we’ve seen the most of in the Ticker besides Spotify, has shot up from 23,000 to 29,000 Facebook-integrated MAU since f8. Its DAU count spiked from 3,800 to 8,000 the day after f8, but is now rapidly declining. Dedicated Rdio users might be seeing so many of their friends using Spotify thanks to the Ticker that they may considering switching services.
Mog saw strong growth from the release of its free subscription tier the week before f8. Since the conference, it has mildly grown from 32,200 to 36,800 MAU, with DAU fluctuating between 3,000 and 3,500.
Vevo, the ad-supported music video wing of YouTube, has seen strong sustained growth since f8, jumping from 85,00 to 94,000 MAU. Unlike the other apps, DAU continues to climb, building on an initial spike from 7,700 to 10,100 to now reach 10,300. Lesser known partners Earbits and Songza also saw some growth since f8.
Meanwhile, some of Facebook’s music partners have lost Facebook-integrated users since f8. This could be because they didn’t have Ticker integrations ready, their integrations broke down, or they’re being outcompeted by those with functioning integrations.
SoundCloud, iHeartRadio, and Deezer all lost DAU since f8, or have fallen lower than their initial DAU count following a spike the day after the conference. With music suggestions coming straight to the news feed, users may be seeking out less internet radio and free streaming services.
It will take a few weeks for more of Facebook’s music partners to launch their Ticker integrations. The same goes for users experimenting with the services they see their friends using and choosing the one that fits them best. Once other listening apps as well as reading, video, and non-partnered lifestyle apps get their Open Graph publishing set up, there will be more competition in the Ticker and the bonanza for the music partners who were ready at launch may end.
Until then, though, it appears that Spotify will strengthen its lead as the Ticker bombards Facebook users with implicit social recommendations for the service. As users may not want to simultaneously run multiple music desktop and web apps, Facebook’s recent changes could produce a “winer-take-all” scenario where users choose the music service used by the most of their friends, and right now, that’s Spotify.