Facebook To Partner With Spotify For Music Service, Sources Say
Amazon, Google, Apple, and now Facebook: The social network is reportedly preparing to launch a streaming music service in a partnership with music startup Spotify.
According to Forbes, the music service could launch as early as sometime in the next two weeks, and is currently being tested. Sources close to the deal add that Facebook users would see the Spotify icon on the left side of the newsfeed, and click to install.
Once installed, the service would run on the desktop in the background, giving users access to Spotify's music library. They would also be able to listen to music simultaneously with friends. Spotify already uses Facebook Connect in its own service for users who want to see what their friends are listening to.
Here's the catch: The service will only be available in countries where Spotify is currently used, meaning that Americans would not have access until Spotify launches in the U.S..
Spotify, which originally let users listen to any song they wanted for free, has recently started to put restrictions on how many hours of music users can consume per month, and how many times single tracks can be played. Some speculate that the change is geared towards appeasing American music companies wary of allowing a music service that offers songs totally free of charge to launch in the country.
So far, Spotify has managed to ink deals with Sony and EMI, though in February, the company promised it would be launching in the U.S. soon. The company has not yet signed agreements with Warner or Universal Music Group.
A Spotify spokesperson told Forbes, "We have a Facebook integration. We're continuously working with them to make that as good as it can be. But that's the extent of our relationship."
A Facebook spokesperson was equally cagey.
"Many of the most popular music services around the world are integrated with Facebook and we're constantly talking to our partners about ways to improve these integrations. Specific to Spotify, we consistently point to their product as one of the best examples of using Facebook to provide people with a rich social experience," the spokesperson told Mashable.
Sean Parker, Facebook's first president and founder of free music service Napster, is an investor in Spotify, and recently criticized the music industry's business model.
"I think that there is a pretty dramatic change in the way music is monetized that is on the cusp of happening. Back catalogues of record labels are going to become extremely valuable," Parker told Financial Times. "[I]t's the back catalogue that is driving the consumption [at Spotify]."
Facebook has increasingly been integrating media into its platform. Already the fourth largest online video destination with over 46 million unique visitors in April, the company has also entered into a deal with Warner Brothers for online movie rentals.
Amazon already offers a music streaming and storage service. Google stepped into the arena with the invitation-only Google Music Beta, and Apple is heavily rumored to have completed deals with all four major record labels in preparation for its own music service.