Facebook to Music App Developers: You Need Us
Facebook to Music App Developers: You Need Us

Facebook on Tuesday trumpeted its track record as a platform for music applications not named Spotify.

In a post entitled, "Facebook Timeline Apps and Music, A Year Later," Facebook engineer Lincoln Hochberg singled out six music apps that have enjoyed relative success over the past year. These include Songza, BandPage, 8Tracks, KKBOX, Saavn and SoundTracking.

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Although Spotify is far and away the most popular music app on Facebook, with 23.5 million active monthly users, according to AppData.com, it merited only an honorable mention at the bottom of Hochberg's post, alongside Clear Channel Communications' iHeartRadio and Deezer.

Facebook's shout-out roughly coincides with the social network's launch of its Timeline format in September 2011, which organizes user profiles in reverse chronological order (most recent at the top). Developers have since been able to integrate their apps into their users' timelines, populating the timelines with activities and news feeds.

Hochberg gave readers an update on how the Timeline integration has fueled music apps so far: "Since September 2011, 62.6 million songs have been played 22 billion times through timeline apps -- that's about 210,000 years worth of music. This is happening across all types of music apps, from those that tailor music to your tastes, to apps that recommend music based on the time of day and what you're doing."

With keen competition from other platforms vying to host the most popular entertainment apps, Facebook must convince developers that it brings more than just 1 billion users to the party.

This is particularly true as users, and developers, migrate their attention towards mobile devices, where Facebook is struggling to find purchase alongside far more established players, including Apple and Google.

Hence, Hochberg was quick to point out the growth music apps have experienced on Facebook. Users of 8tracks, a social Internet radio service, have generated 4 million Facebook shares a week, "with Facebook now ranking as one of 8tracks' major sources of referral traffic," Hochberg wrote.

BandPage, which lets artists manage their online profiles, "has grown by 3x in the last few months," he said. And Songza, which streams curated playlists based on their users' mood or activity, saw "in a recent 30-day period, 1 million referrals from Facebook, up from 650,000 the month before, with Facebook connected users listening about 20% longer than other users."

The underlying message is clear: developers of music apps need Facebook as much as Facebook needs them.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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