Report: Facebook to Compete with iTunes

Facebook is presumed to be preparing to announce a music service at it’s f8 conference later this month. Users will be able to share songs through Facebook the way they currently share links, movies, TV shows, videos, and other personal media, according to online reports.

The UK’s Daily Mail reports that the announcement is expected at Facebook’s annual f8 conference scheduled for September 22 in San Francisco, if everything comes together in time. The feature would let online music services, such as Spotify and Rdio, post information to Facebook pages. This would be similar to the current feature of “liking” websites in Facebook and is reminiscent of the way Apple’s own attempt at a social networking service, Ping, works in iTunes.

Facebook is looking towards music streaming services rather than cloud services, according to the Wall Street Journal. Streaming services, such as Spotify and Rdio, may require a user to pay a monthly fee, but then allow them access to an unlimited amount of music. Cloud services, such as the ones from Google and Amazon and the upcoming iCloud service from Apple, allow users to access their private collections remotely.

Some of the services are expected to develop a player specifically for Facebook. This would allow users to listen to music without leaving the Facebook page, although they may be asked to login. On the other hand, users wouldn’t have to download a separate app. This could be very beneficial to users who aren’t allowed to install software on their machine. (Can you say workplace? wink, wink) Other services may choose to have users switch to their proprietary Facebook app to listen.

This step isn’t intended for any particular service, but Spotify seems to be best able to benefit from it given it’s comprehensive selection and the ability for “friends” to listen to others’ playlists without paying for the service themselves. It would be a powerful way for people to discover and share music.

With Facebook recently adding the ability to rent movies through the site, which already allows sharing of websites, games, videos, and pictures, music does seem to complete the package for a one-stop media hub for its users.