Today is a landmark day for Facebook and the music subscription world. It’s the day that music became, “listen with.” The music subscription world has just become a little more social on Facebook. Now you will be able to join your friends who are listening to music on Spotify (now) and RDIO (coming in a few weeks).
You can now see a music icon next to friends in your Facebook chat window that you have allowed to see your music listening activity. When you hover over the icon you’ll see the song and can choose to “listen with.” Once you start listening with your friend it opens up a new chat window where you can interact with your friends. The rooms are limited to 50 friends who can listen along. The group will continue to listen along with the “DJ” who is playing songs until you leave the chat room.
As a digital marketer, label guy, and music lover I like this new feature for several reasons. First, as a digital marketer, I know the best advertiser in the market is the recommendation from a friend. If that recommendation can come real-time as a “shared experience” with the friend in a social environment, it will have even deeper impact. As that recommendation becomes a listening party with a core circle of friends, the potential for the music to have a deep connection is even greater.
Second, as label guy I like the fact that the world’s largest social network is now a place where friends can share music without any cost barriers. The free Spotify users, which is the majority, can share this music real-time. The awareness and experience potential for songs to travel further online is huge.
With every “listen with” track in the chat room will have a link to the artist fan page. The potential for new fans to engage artists pages is even greater. It’s even more critical for these artist pages to have merchandising, social commerce, and tour/live events included so these new fans can engage. If the labels miss this monetization opportunity they will be scratching their heads with tears rolling down their face as the tiny $0.0016 streaming royalties come in.
Finally, this excites me as a music lover! I have always loved experiencing music socially. From live music to the tunes filling the walls of a great party, the best music experiences have been with my friends. Now that we have access to tons of music, we are all poised to be the “DJ” with the best taste. I respect a lot of my friends taste in music. I can’t wait to see some of the playlists that my music aficionados come up with. As a digital marketer / label guy, I can’t wait to see how these artist fan pages are designed to connect with me.
Mark your calendars, this will be the day that we all remember Facebook asked us to “listen with” our friends. This will be the year that music subscriptions services will take the market into the next season of music consumption. The opportunity is great. The road to success is more complicated. The strong, the strategic, and the music experiences will survive.
Breathe In & Smile Out,