In the latest of many rumors about Facebook’s yet-to-launch music service, CNBC says today that it is coming at the company’s f8 developer conference next month in San Francisco.
GigaOm reported basically the same thing in June, and described the features in detail then. The service will include a new page called a Music Dashboard, that’s linked to the home page via a Music tab. The interface would allow you to choose from Spotify and a variety of other music services, and include a persistent play button, and a variety of other music-sharing features.
Facebook has bandied a variety of music-related ideas around over the years, and in 2008 it was poised to launch a streaming music of some sort in collaboration with a single music company, such as Lala. Nothing ever happened, largely because record labels didn’t want to agree to a deal to stream content to Facebook users at the time. Most of the potential partners that Facebook talked to then have since failed (also due to label licensing problems) or been acquired, and the project stalled out.
In the intervening years, musicians have formed a significant part of Facebook’s most popular Pages, and a variety of Page management companies have built businesses providing customized music applications for them. The market leader, RootMusic, just raised a second round of $16 million after growing its monthly active users by ten times in the past twelve months to reach around 32 million users a month today. As we noted about that deal this morning, a conceivable threat is what Facebook does with its music service. Are Spotify and other partners going to provide a better fan experience than Facebook Pages in this new service, and focus engagement away from the existing services? Or will Facebook’s Music Dashboard and other features tie the existing music Pages together with the new streaming options.
Either way, the new service sounds like a big win for the millions of Facebook users who love music, and for the partners who are part of the launch.
Among other launches that we expect at f8, the HTML5 efforts is looking increasingly mature, and there’s been a variety of leaks around upgrades to photos and its mobile app. Lastly, Facebook could finally launch its long-awaited iPad app.