Talking tech since 2003

I absolutely love the Internet.  No, I’m not just talking about the ability to pull up cat videos whenever I please, but rather the fundamental concept of the Internet and everything that it stands for.  What am I talking about?  Freedom.  The ability to share ones opinions, thoughts, and content with millions upon millions of people from around the world.  And while I can greatly appreciate the Internet from the perspective of an end-user, I really appreciate the fact that I can easily produce an article – just like the one you are reading now – for anyone to read.  An even better example of this concept can be illustrated by looking at independent artists and musicians who take advantage of the Internet to share their artwork with others and get their names out there.

While the once-popular social network MySpace has declined significantly in recent years with the uprising of more popular social media sites such as Twitter and sites like Facebook, the site has managed to hold on to one audience; the music industry.  But now it is becoming apparent that MySpace may soon lose that strongpoint – arguably the last leg that they have to stand on – when Facebook implements the much-anticipated addition of music services within the already thriving social network.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the rumor mill recently (and who can blame you), the last couple of months have brought quite a bit of speculation that Facebook has been in the works to implement a music service that would not only allow users to listen to music, but would also encourage discussion and chatter between users who would be able to share and recommend what they were listening to with their friends on Facebook.

In all honesty, when I read about this a few weeks back I was immediately intrigued.  With the work that Apple, Amazon, and Google have been doing with “cloud-based” music products it would only make sense that Facebook would work to get their own slice of the pie as well.  However, after reading about the development more in-depth, I was let down at the fact that the entire service would be based on Spotify; a music service that has become extremely popular in Europe but has yet to make its way to the United States due to various legal and copyright issues.  So with that I gave up any hopes of seeing a Facebook music service; at least for the time being.

But more recently I’ve been reading that Facebook’s implementation of a music service would actually be much more than a simple implementation of a partnered Spotify utility within the social networking website. Rather, users likely will be able to use a wide array of music services within Facebook.  What this means, at least from my understanding, is that Facebook would not necessarily be getting involved with the actual streaming and licensing issues, but would rather be a simply facilitating bridge between other music services and Facebook’s social offerings.

While some may look down on this route, I think that Facebook is being very wise to let others handle the licensing and whatnot as that particular issue is the aspect that I would personally suspect to be the largest liability down the road.  So with this setup, Facebook would allow for users to keep up with the music trends of their closest and most intimate friends, and the company would prevent becoming a legal target as much as possible.

And all of the people who flock to MySpace for music?  Well, when Facebook gets their own implementation I think that MySpace will lose the last edge it has because users will opt to use the larger network that many already use on a regular basis.


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