Spotify partnering with Facebook: Will it bring back Spotify Free?
Music service Spotify is rumoured to be closing a deal with Facebook that will see the music player deeply embedded in the social network. Spotify icons would appear on the homepage of every Facebook user and Facebookers would be able to browse, listen to and share Spotify’s 10million songs.
Spotify has been making some big changes lately – cutting its free service & letting people download music onto iPods and phones – but this is a bit of a thunderbolt.
Having Spotify as a browsable music library for Facebook would cement the new “we’re a music discovery service” spiel from Spotify. It meant that when you heard a cool new song you could post it on your friends’ walls, they’d be able to listen to it, and yes – buy it if they wanted to. It makes Spotify the default Facebook music player. You could share a Youtube video too of course- but Google own that, and well it doesn’t really monetise in the same way.
Could the deal breathe new life into the Spotify Free model? We’d like to think so. Facebook has a potent network of advertisers for starters, and even if Spotify doesn’t get a direct cut of Facebook advertising, it offers advertisers much more information about who they’re targeting. And having the Spotify icon on the home page of Facebook is a massive coup that will drive loads of people to the service. Perhaps more users would mean more ad revenue = more free music.
I mean if anyone knows how to monetise a completely free service – it’s Facebook.
I could see listening time being limited on Facebook. But I just can’t imagine a service on Facebook cutting you out for listening to a song more than 5 times. Maybe this much hated feature of the new Spotify
People talk about music all the time on Facebook – it’s a very natural pairing for a site that aims to be a hub for interests and entertainment. Spotify Social – the current Facebook integration that lets you share friends’ playlists – is one of the best uses of Facebook Connect that I’ve ever seen.
It would square Facebook up to Apple more by providing a very potent rival to iTunes with enormous reach.
Expect an announcement in two weeks.. though only in the countries where Spotify is currently available.
Related: Spotify Explain: Why we cut the Free Service..[via Forbes]
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If rumours of this deal are true then it’s easy to see the attractions on both sides for Facebook and Spotify.
Facebook gets to bolt on a ready-made populist music service. Spotify suddenly has access to a major global platform as an incentive to tip the Majors into allowing it into the US. One issue that could arise is that the Majors seem keen to ensure that any US version of the service is paid for.
However, Facebook users will expect the service to be free – after all they don’t have to pay for anything else on Facebook. They are though, used to seeing adverts. Spotify of course became successful very quickly by launching primarily as a free service (with adverts).
Spotify has seemingly been torn between keeping the free element and migrating the service to a premium one – it can’t really afford the Major’s advances/guarantees and royalties unless it does. On the other hand a deal with Facebook could turn that logic on its head, and Spotify may argue that if it is going to deliver potential access to hundreds of millions of users then the free model is the way to go.
Who knows what will actually happen.I for one am going to stick to using Spotify the usual way, to find new music or to record Spotify mp3s with Audials: