Rumors that Facebook will announce a new music service at its upcoming developer conference f8 are circulating, but it doesn’t sound like that service will sell or stream music. Instead, it sounds like it’s a new set of tools that will enable music services such as Spotify, Pandora, MOG, Rdio and Rhapsody to integrate with its platform. Users will be able to share what service and songs they are listening to.
Reportedly, Rhapsody just launched a beta version of its Facebook integration that lets listeners “like” an artist or song and have that info show up in their friends’ news feeds. The idea is that friends would then want to hear the artist or song, or even sample Rhapsody if they are not a subscriber.
Spotify is already integrated with Facebook, listeners’ friends can access the playlists their friends have chosen to share. Rdio’s current integration enables users to follow other users and find out what albums they have been listening to the most.
Reportedly, the new set of tools will enable the services to enhance their integration with Facebook. Rhapsody spokeswoman Jaimee Steele said the company is “definitely interested” in improving its Facebook tools. “We think that music is a very social experience and we are always looking at ways to enhance that experience,” she said.
Facebook first embraced a higher level of integration with music services almost a year and a half ago with Pandora. Descriptions that I am reading of the new integration sound like an expansion of that experiment, with easier ways to like and share music. With 700 million users worldwide and roughly 150 million in the US, facebook has incredible clout and the ability to drive more listening online. This news indicates that they intend to work with third party streaming services rather than develop their own, which is good news for folks like Pandora, Spotify, MOG, Rdio and others.