Facebook reportedly turning focus to music streaming

Summary:It seems just about everyone wants to get into the music streaming scene these days, and Facebook is no exception. However, the social networking site's plan is reportedly going to be rather complex.

It seems just about everyone wants to get into the music streaming scene these days, and Facebook is no exception. However, the social networking site's plan is reportedly going to be more complex than we'd expect.

Facebook has already launched features for gaming and movie rentals, so it's no surprise that it's moving on to adding a music service. After all, whether it be cloud-based or with a subscription model or whatever, that is becoming the hot commodity this year.

There have already been plenty of rumors that Facebook is working with Spotify, which still hasn't launched in the United States yet. But, according to GigaOm, Facebook is interested in teaming up with "other online music services." These unnamed sources didn't offer up any examples (i.e. Grooveshark? Internet radio sites?), but Facebook is expected to go official with its plan by the time the next F8 conference rolls around.

All of this is to be positioned around what GigaOm refers to as the "Music Dashboard," which will incorporate the following functions, among others likely:

  1. Music Notifications: here you have notifications that show if your friends have listened to songs recommended by you or on your profile.
  2. Recommended Songs: You can get a list of songs heard and recommended by your friends. You can also play them back by clicking the play icon.
  3. Top Songs from friends.
  4. Top Albums from friends, with cover art.
  5. Recent listens from your friends.
  6. In the upper-right corner there will be a “happening now” ticker that shows what is happening in your social and musical universe, including songs that your friends are playing. There is some talk that this “Happening Now ticker” would show-up all throughout your music experience and not just on the music dashboard.

Online casual gaming has proven to be a hit for Facebook, even if the mention of the word "Farmville" does irritate many Facebook members who aren't interested in this feature.

But as for music streaming? That remains to be seen. Other digital music outlets, such as Apple's iTunes, have gone in the reverse direction and added a social networking feature after the fact, as seen with Ping. But Ping hasn't exactly become one of Apple's greatest hits.

Additionally, there hasn't been much enthusiasm poured out over its impending move to offer movie rentals. Nevertheless, photo sharing is one of Facebook's most popular features (even if there are occasions where all Facebook members see photos of themselves online - tagged or not - that they might not want published). Thus, maybe there is room for a music app on Facebook if it is done just right.

Related:

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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