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Heather Millar, Marketing Executive

The author

Heather Millar

Marketing Executive

Facebook is set to launch a music service by the end of this month. Partnerships with Spotify, MOG and Rdio have been developed to allow users music streaming through Facebook.  Since the announcement was made, there have been abundant rumours that Facebook also intends to take this further, beyond music, into the realm of streaming movies through the social networking site, by utilising partnerships with existing companies.

Facebook is set to launch a music service by the end of this month. Partnerships with Spotify, MOG and Rdio have been developed to allow users music streaming through Facebook.  Since the announcement was made, there have been abundant rumours that Facebook also intends to take this further, beyond music, into the realm of streaming movies through the social networking site, by utilising partnerships with existing companies.

Providing free music and movies to more that 750million people (if launched globally) at first glance, appears to be fail proof. However, as Facebook Deals -once predicted to be a rival for market leader Groupon- is set to shut down in the next few weeks and Facebook Places has been merged into other options, it would seem that just exposing a service to the hundreds of millions of users is not enough to make it successful.

What would streaming music and movie services mean to Facebook users?

I suppose the younger users would be interested in this and would be the first to try them. In the UK, a massive 95% of people aged 18 to 25 have an active Facebook profile. Not all that surprising I suppose, but a recent survey found that more than half of the UK’s pensioners are on Facebook. A surprising 55% of the UK’s pensionable population have confirmed that they have an active Facebook profile – that’s approximately 37.4 million! Does this large number of users have any interest in streaming music or films through their social networking pages? Unlikely. In fact, there are many reasons that I can think of just off the top of my head as to why this probably won’t be as successful as Facebook might like… Once the service is launched, I know I wouldn’t be alone in comparing the reliability and usability to that of the services I already use. Obviously, it has to be worth switching to. I wonder if Facebook would be able to convince their users to leave the sites which they are already familiar with and have established playlists, favourites. I wouldn’t say it was brand loyalty, simply inertia - why fix what isn’t broken? Facebook is obviously working in partnership with existing companies to reduce the barriers of entry to this industry, but they will no doubt face legalities and issues with copyright protection and limiting access. I also wonder if users would be able to stream music when they access Facebook through apps? Probably not. The final, but possibly the most obvious, point is that people use Facebook to connect to others, to chat and message, to share photos and events. How can you do this if you are streaming a movie? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather keep those things separate. I imagine it being very slow and constantly interrupted by chat messages. I don’t spend long on Facebook or leave it signed in (leave myself open to Frape? No thanks!), but I do use my computer for long periods of time. If I want to listen to music, I’d like that to be on all the time too. Without keeping Facebook open all day, I wouldn’t be able to, so I’d quickly go back to what does the job properly. What’s wrong with sticking with what you are good at? Facebook’s revenues doubled in the first half of 2011, to $1.6billion. Without any music or movie nonsense. Just keep on the straight and narrow guys! I suppose they are just trying to fit everything in before 5 November (the date Anonymous vowed to destroy Facebook). Well, let’s just wait and see how it goes. What do you think about this? Would you stream music or movies through Facebook? Let me know - @Heather64