Facebook To Boost Music Services, Song Sharing - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Facebook To Boost Music Services, Song Sharing

USATODAY.COM - Facebook is preparing to bolster the programming tools it offers to licensed music services like Rhapsody, Spotify, MOG and Rdio to make it easier for users of the social network to find out what songs their friends are digging.

The tools won't amount to a unique music service on its own, since Facebook has not negotiated licensing deals with major music companies, according to a person familiar with the matter.

But it will give Facebook users yet another reason to stick around. Being more aware of what your friends are listening to could make the subscription music plans more attractive. They all offer unlimited listening to millions of new and old tracks on mobile devices for $10 a month, but they have yet to gain enough traction to replace revenue the music industry has lost from declining CD sales.

The person was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and declined to be identified.

Facebook is expected to reveal the specific set of tools at its developer conference in San Francisco, called f8, on Sept. 22.

Spokesman Larry Wu said Facebook had nothing new to announce. "Many of the most popular music services around the world are integrated with Facebook and we're constantly talking to our partners about ways to improve these integrations," he said in a statement.

This week, subscription leader Rhapsody launched a beta version of its integration using Facebook's sign-in tool, Facebook Connect. A Rhapsody customer can now "like" an artist or song, and doing so lets others know in the person's Facebook news feed. Liked artists are synced across both services and Rhapsody subscribers can listen to artists that their friends have liked on Facebook.

But there is no way currently to find out exactly what a friend is listening to at a particular moment, nor can a Facebook friend join in and simultaneously listen to what a Rhapsody user is playing in real time.

Rhapsody spokeswoman Jaimee Steele said the company is "definitely interested" in improving its Facebook tools.

"We think that music is a very social experience and we are always looking at ways to enhance that experience," she said.

Swedish new entrant Spotify allows Facebook friends to access the playlists their friends have chosen to share. Rdio allows people to connect through Facebook, follow other Rdio users and find out what albums they have been listening to the most.

Rdio CEO Drew Larner and MOG spokeswoman Marni Greenberg declined to comment.

Facebook's new tools are an incremental step in getting people to pay for music even if Facebook itself does not stand to gain directly.

So far, subscription plans that offer unlimited song listening have not been popular enough to reverse a decade-long slide in CD sales. Piracy is partly to blame for the decline, as is the popularity of buying singles, such as through Apple's iTunes music store, instead of albums.

Last year, revenue from paid subscription plans fell 5 percent from a year earlier to $201 million, even though the number of subscribers grew about 25 percent to 1.5 million, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Including CD sales, downloads and other forms of music, the value of U.S. music shipments fell 11 percent to $6.85 billion.

The most popular of the subscription services, Rhapsody, has more than 800,000 paying subscribers.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Spokane family's service dog finds bag of mysterious substance in yard

    Spokane family's service dog finds bag of mysterious substance in yard

    Sunday, October 22 2017 8:48 PM EDT2017-10-23 00:48:47 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - One Spokane family has a message for the community: “Check your yards.” That’s because on Saturday morning, they discovered something pretty disturbing in their backyard. This happened near Chief Garry Park.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - One Spokane family has a message for the community: “Check your yards.” That’s because on Saturday morning, they discovered something pretty disturbing in their backyard. This happened near Chief Garry Park.

    >>
  • Pennsylvania students miss school after teacher posts 'I'm buying a gun'

    Pennsylvania students miss school after teacher posts 'I'm buying a gun'

    Monday, October 23 2017 11:17 AM EDT2017-10-23 15:17:15 GMT

    BRENTWOOD, Pa. - A suburban Pittsburgh school district says a teacher's Facebook post about "buying a gun" caused parents to keep about 60 students home from school or pick them up early from an elementary school Friday. KDKA reports students at Moore Elementary in the Brentwood School District were also kept inside and borough police were notified. 

    >>

    BRENTWOOD, Pa. - A suburban Pittsburgh school district says a teacher's Facebook post about "buying a gun" caused parents to keep about 60 students home from school or pick them up early from an elementary school Friday. KDKA reports students at Moore Elementary in the Brentwood School District were also kept inside and borough police were notified. 

    >>
  • PHOTOS: Reward offered as detectives search for truck stolen from murder scene

    PHOTOS: Reward offered as detectives search for truck stolen from murder scene

    Monday, October 23 2017 1:33 PM EDT2017-10-23 17:33:26 GMT

    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information that helps detectives find a stolen pickup taken from the property of a 2015 murder. 

    >>

    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information that helps detectives find a stolen pickup taken from the property of a 2015 murder.  The 1994 Toyota extended cab pickup was taken from the property in Colbert where Terry Canfield and his wife and son were murdered in 2015.  "In April 2017 two vehicles, a 1990 Acura and a 1994 Toyota pickup, were reported as stolen," Deputy Mark Gregory said.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/