The social network is looking to get involved in music, but what that means is still undetermined
Facebook has held talks with the major labels about “getting into music,” multiple sources tell The Verge. Facebook has spoken with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group about its interest in music, but to what extent the social network wants to get involved is still up in the air — while the popular assumption may be a streaming service, sources say that Facebook hasn’t yet decided precisely what it wants to do.
TALKS ARE STILL IN THE VERY EARLY STAGES
But why would Facebook be interested in any kind of music service? Engagement. People already spend a ton of time on Facebook — over 40 minutes a day in the US — but those numbers would dramatically increase if your musical existence was tied in any meaningful way to the service. One source suggested that Facebook’s video platform may play a role in its plans. The company wants to do something “unique” according to sources, but how that will manifest is yet to be determined.
Sources were quick to stress that discussions between Facebook and the labels are still in the very early stages, and nothing has been made final. Facebook declined to comment on the talks.
With the rapid growth of Facebook Video, it’s no surprise that it would have an interest in dipping its toes in other forms entertainment. The company has long shown an interest in music, partnering with Spotify to help launch it in the United States. Facebook has tried to integrate music into its service a number of times, putting listen buttons on artist pages and adding a turntable-like feature that lets you listen to what your friends were listening to, but it hasn’t gone much further than that.The company has been very selective when it comes to making extensive changes to its core service, and adding any kind of substantial musical component would definitely qualify as a big shift.
Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft all offer their own music services, leaving Facebook as the outlier among tech’s five biggest corporations. With 1.44 billion users and 798 million mobile users on the service every day, Facebook can potentially match the reach of Apple Music, which has the advantage of having 800 million potential users with credit cards on file. With that kind of reach, Facebook is easily one of the few outside companies that could throw a serious wrench into a streaming market — if Facebook ends up building a streaming service at all — whose major players appeared to have been set for the long haul.
Sony Music, Warner Music, and Universal Music Group declined to comment.