Though Facebook long ago outgrew rival social network MySpace, its old rival and other companies have led in terms of helping people share and listen to music. Part of that is due to licensing issues. Facebook has taken a close look at offering some form of music service, but apparently was never able to come to an agreement with record labels on how it might provide licensed music, or how much it would pay out to do so.
Still, Facebook’s Pages and developer platform offer new and established musicians unique ways to reach fans. If you’re in the music industry, you should check out the options below.
The company launched applications when Facebook introduced its developer platform back in 2007, and it has stayed popular ever since. Its Music app, which includes information about bands, videos, sample tracks, tour information, and more, currently has 12.3 million monthly active users. Applications it has made for artists tend to see decent traffic as well as. All told, it has 15.6 million MAU on Facebook, according to AppData.
However, the company was bought by MySpace last year and it appears to have focused its attention off of Facebook since then. A new crop of companies have been building music-related applications in the meantime.
Beginning this month, bands looking for a free way to create a comprehensive Facebook page will be able to do so with RootMusic. The application gives musicians a quick, easy way to set up band fan pages that are similar to those found on MySpace, but with the advantage of being on a much larger network. Bands will need to have an existing fan page to which they can add the RootMusic application, where they can then make the RootMusic tab the default landing page while still retaining all the common elements, photos, etc. of their existing fan page.
RootMusic gives visitors the ability to stream music while checking out tour dates and band news, as well as the ability to see Tweets directly on the page. Bands can also enable visitors to download music tracks for free. For fans looking for more on the band, the contact information can be populated with links to related web sites.
Some popular musicians, or at least those with a little money to spend, are giving fans a way to check out music through Involver’s Music for Pages application. Fans can stream songs, gift them to friends or share them in their news feeds. The application creates a Music tab on the artist’s fan page and houses all of the features, including links to external sites where people can purchase music and more. Alicia Keys recently used the application to premiere her new album, and the application was apparently popular enough that administrators have retained the tab to give fans an avenue to enjoy a few songs from the now released album, share comments or link to iTunes to purchase the album.
Hit or Not
In an application that taps into the viral appeal of Facebook games, Hit or Not offers users a fun way to play music mogul while giving real-life bands and artists a way to get their music in front of a large audience. First and foremost a game, it gives users the ability to vote up the “value” of certain songs and artists, as well as purchase the music they hear in the application. The developer, thebizmo, was founded by music industry veterans, the game is trying to create a virtual market for real-life musicians, and help them make real money in the process.