Call me old-fashioned, but I still listen to music in one of three ways: 1) on my iPhone, 2) with Pandora, and 3) on an FM car radio. That’s it. XM Radio, RDIO, Spotify, Last.fm, Google Music, and MOG have thus far eluded my attention, though I have accounts in all services (except MOG, I believe). I may try Spotify, due to multiple positive reviews from friends.
Will Facebook be offering a music service? Probably not, as it’s more likely that music services will offer an App within Facebook users can use. (There’s a difference.) Facebook’s strategy is still to become the world’s leading platform utility for the sharing of media. In any case, it does look like some kind of free streaming model may be offered in the near future, via a number of partners.
Will consumers use a music service through Facebook? That’s hard to answer, but my gut instinct tells me mass adoption is unlikely. The most successful consumer products and platforms often integrate some combination of 1) ultra-simplicity in usability and design, and 2) some element of “wow” factor that’s new and unique. Integrating a great user experience like Spotify into Facebook risks cluttering and complicating it. It also places template-driven restrictions on design that can lessen the likelihood of a “wow” experience. Why not just use the ‘native’ version of the service?
I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I am saying it’s going to be quite a challenge solving both problems above. Music service developers will need Facebook guidance and flexibility to create a well-integrated experience, or the offerings may fall flat. That’ll be challenging, as the Facebook Profile, Wall, News pages are already cluttered with quite a few actionable modules and calls-to-action.
Further, if multiple music platforms are launching simultaneously, how differentiated can they really be? All said, I’m excited to see where everything lands.
What do you think — will music services sink or swim in Facebook?