Why Facebook is Sharing Music Listening Habits

When it comes to sharing music, Facebook members are extremely prolific. Members have shared their listening habits to their Facebook friends well over 1.5 billion times since the Facebook Open Graph (the protocol that allows for social sharing on Facebook) was introduced just under six months ago. Both businesses and consumers should understand the role that music will play in the social network’s future.

Last year, Facebook introduced a new protocol generally referred to as “frictionless sharing.” The idea is that content you consume such as news or music, will be posted on your Facebook Timeline for all your friends to see. The frictionless sharing concept allows you to share content without having to do anything accept install the sharing apps for various sites that enable the frictionless sharing protocol. What could be easier than that, right?

Let’s identify some of the more popular music sharing sites that have partnered with Facebook and provide some insights as to why Facebook is so interested in sharing the music listening habits of its members.

Some of the Top Music Sharing Partners

Music Sharing Apps on Facebook - Spotify

Facebook’s strategy in the music sharing space is to open its platform to multiple music sharing sites. This way, Facebook can not only provide more variety in the apps available to its members but it can also expand its reach when it comes to monetizing the music sharing activities across multiple vendors.

Some of the more popular music sharing vendors that Facebook has partnered with include Spotify, Earbits, MOG, and Rdio. Each of these vendors provides an app that Facebook members can install to enable music sharing with that particular site. Interestingly, in some cases, music from one vendor can be played with using another vendor’s app, making the system more versatile (and easy to share) for everyone using the music sharing capabilities on Facebook.

Facebook is also partnering with more robust service providers like BandPage that allow Facebook members to access additional music resources such concert updates, interaction with bands and musicians, and so on. To see what other music sharing apps are available, check out this list of the top 20 Facebook music apps.

Monetization Strategies

Monetization Strategies

Buoyed in large measure by the success of the online music store iTunes, people appear to be willing to pay for certain online content — especially music. Many of the sites mentioned above provide free trials of their services to generate demand. Couple this with Facebook’s enormous membership and the immense popularity of social sharing on the platform and there is huge potential for money to be made — even if the cost per music track download or monthly subscription is relatively small.

Facebook does not charge its members for the apps, the music, or the music sharing features. It has relationships with its music app partners and charges them based on things like number of signups and subscriptions to the services, and so on. With the launch of complimentary features like the Facebook Music Dashboard and Facebook Credits, there is speculation that Facebook will integrate even more “frictionless” ways for members not only to share music but to purchase music and music related products all from within the Facebook platform.

Finally, Facebook’s Terms of Service state that its services are provided free of charge with the expectation that your data and activities will be made available to advertisers (privacy settings nothwithstanding). Given that many of the music listeners on Facebook have paid to access the various music sharing sites partnered with Facebook, these members represent a great target audience for just about any advertiser — after all, they’ve spent money to access online services. If Facebook can facilitate even more music sharing on its platform, it has more data that it can share with an ever expanding and lucrative advertiser base. Businesses and brands can benefit from that data when planning advertising campaigns.

Do you subscribe to any of the music sharing apps on Facebook? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.

[Source: Mashable; Image Credits: moonty, Zach Parcell, Ahmed.Abdullah]