Rumor: Facebook is partnering with Spotify

Spotify, a popular European music streaming service, could launch on Facebook in as little as two weeks.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

Facebook is reportedly partnering with Spotify, though no money is being exchanged. The popular European music streaming service, with more than 1 million subscribers could launch on Facebook in as little as two weeks, according to sources close to the deal cited by Forbes:

The integrated service is currently going through testing, but when launched, Facebook users will see a Spotify icon appear on the left side of their newsfeed, along with the usual icons for photos and events.

Clicking on the Spotify icon will install the service on their desktop in the background, and also allow users play from Spotify’s library of millions of songs through Facebook. The service will include a function that lets Facebook users listen to music simultaneously with their friends over the social network, one of the sources said.

The service could either be called Facebook Music or Spotify on Facebook, but either way it will only be available for Facebook users in countries where Spotify has a presence. This means it won't be available stateside: Spotify still doesn't have a specific US launch date other than "this year."

Four months ago, Spotify signed an agreement with Sony Music Entertainment, and three months ago, it struck a deal with EMI Music. The company thus has two of the four major music labels; the other two are Universal Music Group, the world's biggest label, and Warner Music Group.

US labels have hesitated to support Spotify's model as they don't believe it can be profitable. If Spotify manages to bring them all onboard, and this rumor proves to be true, Facebook users in the US would be able to enjoy Spotify directly on Facebook.

Spotify already has Facebook Connect integrated into its own desktop interface. This lets you see what your Facebook friends are listening to as well as have music choices show up in your News Feed.

A partnership would be beneficial for both companies. Facebook would finally get a music service to rival companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Rhapsody, Napster, Rdio, MOG, Thumbplay, and many others. Spotify would suddenly have a great way to reach more users; it wouldn't be able to get to all of Facebook's 600 million users, but the potential would be there.

Spotify currently offers three account types. Spotify Open is free, but includes advertisements and limits your listening time: 20 hours per month for the first six months, followed by five plays per track and 10 hours per month afterwards. Spotify Unlimited does not include advertisements, but will set you back either £5.00 or €5.00 per month. Spotify Premium also does not include advertisements, includes features like offline mode, mobile device support, enhanced sound quality, and exclusive content, but will set you back £10.00 or €10.00 per month.

It's important to remember that this information is still not confirmed. Just last month, Google was considering a partnership with Spotify to power Google Music. That didn't happen: Google Music launched without any help from the labels. Earlier this month, Facebook was rumored to be buying Skype. That also didn't happen: Microsoft bought Skype.

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