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Facebook rumoured to launch a music streaming service to take on Apple Music and Spotify

SCI & TECH
By Mirror | July 10th 2015
 

Facebook is rumoured to launch a music streaming service that will compete with the likes of Spotify, Apple Music and Jay Z's Tidal.

The social network is expected to host music videos on its site but, according to sources speaking to Music Alley, a full streaming service is due to follow.

The as-yet-unnamed service would go head-to-head with the likes of Spotify while music videos on the site will compete predominantly with YouTube.

YouTube boasts a system called Content ID whereby content owners can identify if other videos uploaded to the site infringe on their copyright. Facebook is said to be licensing a similar system from a third party in order to satisfy nervy record execs.

“Facebook going into the video space was always going to be an enormous, ambitious land grab and no doubt something they've been planning for some time as the potential income from ad revenue will be incredible,” one of the sources told Music Ally.

A move into hosting music would yet another branch for Facebook which is already experimenting with virtual reality (through Oculus Rift), messaging (with WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger) and imagery (with Instagram).

The company meanwhile has strenuously denied the claims.

“We have no plans to go into music streaming,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement sent to Mirror Online.

Bad for the fans?

Some experts believe that yet another service could have a negative effect on customers as artists are forced to offer exclusive content to each platform.

"I feel the biggest losers in this scenario may be the audience. Very few listeners will be paying for and subscribing to multiple services," said Matthew Knight, head of strategic innovation at media agency Carat.

"But exclusive deals mean some artists may only be available on certain platforms, so listening to a wide range of artists may become increasingly challenging," he told Mirror Tech.

"Facebook reaches a huge community of listeners and performers and in the way that YouTube has been a fantastic platform for bringing new talent to large audiences, Facebook could offer a similar platform to get talent in front of people whom they know, through interest data, are likely to enjoy the music, and then help generate revenue for those artists."

However, one aspect that could appeal to customers is that Facebook may decide to offer its streaming service for free, relying on YouTube-style adverts to cover the cost.

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