Facebook will soon add Spotify as an on-site music service, Forbes magazine reports.
Alongside Facebook’s own-brand photos, events and other navigation sections, a “Spotify” icon will invoke a download of Spotify’s application.
For a year already, Spotify’s apps have included Facebook Connect, to let users recommend tracks and share listening habits with Facebook friends.
Forbes’ report sounds a little overblown. But two signals point to some veracity:
- Mark Zuckerberg is increasingly talking about Facebook as a host platform for media servies
- Both sides have pre-prepared statements which don’t deny the report.
At the eG8 forum in Paris on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said on stage: “We don’t have the DNA to be a music company or a movie company. But I hope we can help those companies become more social. People listen to music with friends, you read news and discuss it with friends. These industries can be rebuilt from the ground up with social.” Facebook recently added Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) integration.
- Facebook’s statement to paidContent:UK: “There’s nothing new to announce. 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.”
- Spotify’s statement to paidContent:UK: “We have a good relationship with Facebook in that we have done an integration on Facebook Platform that has been valuable in terms of driving engagement with the Spotify service. We’re continuously working together to make the social experience on Spotify the best it can be and welcome relationships with any company looking to innovate by building more social value into the user experience.”
A deeper Facebook relationship will be interesting for Spotify because, suddenly, Facebook users may start seeing thousands of links to Spotify tracks in their friends news feeds – sights which may prompt them to sign up to Spotify.
It is also interesting since reports last year had it Spotify was set for a tie-up with or acquisition by Google (NSDQ: GOOG), which has tried and failed to launch a meaningful actual music service other than a locker.
After a difficult couple of years of negotiation with U.S. labels, Spotify’s U.S. launch is imminent for this summer after the services this month halved free listening hours and introduced other limits. The main thing lacking is a web version of Spotify, which would ease integration with web-based Facebook.
As Forbes points out: “Facebook and Spotify share a number of investors: billionaire Li Ka Shing has a stake in Facebook and Spotify. Yuri Milner’s DST Global, which owns roughly 10% of Facebook, is also in negotiations to buy a stake in Spotify. Facebook’s founding president and Napster founder Sean Parker, also sits on the board of Spotify.”
Facebook can, as Zuckerberg suggested, certainly eschew building or buying such services of its own since, as the largest social network, it is already the platform the more open-minded media rental services want to be on.