Facebook f8 sees music (and Spotify) take centre stage

Today’s f8 conference keynote has to count as a big win for Spotify, even though more than a dozen other music services have partnered with Facebook on its new attempts to socialise media and entertainment.
CEO Daniel Ek was invited on-stage to talk about how his company is working with Facebook’s new features, which will enable people to see what their friends are listening to and play tracks from within Facebook itself.

Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg walked the audience of developers and journalists through Spotify’s new Open Graph app.
Music – as well as TV, films, news and games – will fit into Facebook’s redesigned ‘Timeline’ profiles, as well as a live ticker on every user’s news feed that shows what their friends are up to. The key point being that people no longer have to actively ‘Like’ something to share it to Facebook.
”You don’t have to ‘Like’ a book, you can just read a book… You don’t have to ‘Like’ a movie, you can just watch a movie… You can just eat a meal, you can hike a trail, listen to a song. You can connect to anything in any way that you want,” said Zuckerberg.
”You’re connecting the app and your timeline together, adding all of the activity and history in the app to your timeline, and keeping them in sync going forward.”
Music got more time in the keynote than any other media, too.
”I’m really excited about what this next wave of music companies is doing with Open Graph,” said Zuckerberg, who went on to say that the future for the music industry is about “not trying to block you from listening to songs that you haven’t bought”.

Besides Spotify, other services working on new apps for Facebook include iHeartRadio, Rhapsody, Mog, Mixcloud, Rdio, Deezer, Vevo, SoundCloud and a bunch of others – more than a dozen in all.
”It’s a big day for Facebook, it’s a big day for Spotify, and it’s a big day for everybody who loves music,” said Ek when he got his five minutes on-stage, before claiming that even before these changes, people who connect their Spotify and Facebook accounts are “twice as likely to pay for music” (i.e. subscribe).

Zuckerberg later talked up the disruptive potential of this new breed of media and entertainment apps.
”This next wave of companies understands that if you can help people discover an order of magnitude more content than they could before, that enables all kinds of new models to work, whether ad-supported or subscription,” he said. “These companies are not just rethinking the experience of watching content with your friends. They’re rethinking these entire industries.”
Music Ally is attending a specific digital music panel session with Ek, Clear Channel’s Bob Pittman and Lady Gaga’s manager Troy Carter later, as well as a ‘Celebration of Music’ event hosted by Sean Parker in the early evening, where we’re promised more music industry “luminaries” giving their views on today’s news.
Stand by for all the details in tomorrow’s Bulletin. Meanwhile, a full liveblog of the Facebook keynote can be read via the link below.

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