Find Music Using Facebook's Search Function
-- As if people didn't spend enough time on Facebook, the catalogs of numerous music services can now be searched directly within the social network's interface. Which service will appear varies by song, but Billboard.biz has spotted in search results links to Spotify, Rhapsody, Mog, Rdio, Slacker, Songza, Earbits and Vevo.
This integration of partners' catalogs with Facebook's search function is not new but has been flying under the radar. A Spotify spokesperson tells Billboard that the service's music has been in Facebook's search results since Facebook's Sept. 22 f8 conference, but was never a talking point about the services integration with the social network.
When searching for a particular song, it's best to start with the name of the song and add the name of the artist if necessary (starting with artist and then song may not work). Playable music has a play button over the thumbnail image, and all songs returned in the search result will be grouped under the "music" category.
The music search works only with songs, not artists or albums. Typing in "U2" returns the group's Facebook page and a handful of U2 apps. A search for the band's album "Achtung Baby" returns pages for the album and a book of the same name. But searching for the album's leadoff track, "Zoo Station," returns a link to the song.
Unfortunately, Facebook does not currently provide a seamless experience for music search. First of all, it's impossible to know which service will show up on any given search. A search for "Zoo Station" returns only a link to Spotify -- the song is available on all services -- and to the original album release rather than the newer reissue. In Billboard.biz's trials, Spotify is the most commonly seen service in search results, and usually only one or two services will be listed for any one song.
Search results can be a bit buggy, too. For instance, Adele's "21" is not available on Spotify (the song "Rolling in the Deep" is available as a single released in 2010) but album tracks with dead-end links are listed in search results. "Someone Like You" returns three Spotfify links, but each returns a message that reads, "This song is not available on Spotify." And although the song is available on Mog, Rdio and Rhapsody, only a Mog link is given in the search results.
In spite of these inconveniences, searching music terms in Facebook can be a great way to discover music and related Facebook pages. For example, search for "Beat on the Brat," a song originally recorded by the Ramones, returns three songs (a cover by U2 and two from different Ramones albums) as well as a community page for the Screeching Weasel album "Beat on the Brat" that covers the Ramones' entire first album.
Ad-Supported FreeAllMusic Raises $650K
-- FreeAllMusic, an ad-supported download service, has raised $650,000 in private equity bridge funding and says it's on its way to a Series A capital round. At the same time, the company has named Habib Khoury as its new CEO. Richard Nailling, the company's previous CEO, will remain a director and an advisor to the company.
Prior to joining FreeAllMedia, Khoury was enterprise division manager for Internet recruiting solution theLadders.com. Earlier, Khoury was the president and chief executive officer of g8Wave Holdings, a global provider of interactive entertainment, social media and mobile community services.
Since its beta period ended, FreeAllMusic created a new native Facebook app version of the platform that replaces its browser-based version. To get a download -- DRM-free MP3 -- a person must watch a sponsor's ad or "perform a particular action" on the site. Integrating the service into Facebook makes sense -- the viral nature of freebies can help the service climb out of anonymity. And the company notes that integrating with Facebook allows its sponsors -- such as Budweiser -- to use FreeAllMusic to give free downloads to consumers who engage with the brand on Facebook.
FreeAllMusic announced $1 million in seed funding in 2009. It launched its lengthy private beta in December 2009 and has signed up EMI and Universal Music Group. A lot has changed in digital music since late 2009 and consumers have better free-and-legal options than ever. But at least people still like MP3s, and free will never lose its appeal.
How Important are Partnerships To Subscription Services?
-- How vital are partnerships to the success of subscription services? It's hard to imagine services becoming mainstream products without them. Check this statistic about Spotify's partnership with Swedish telecom Telia that bundles the music service with broadband and mobile service. "Today, 25% of Spotify's Premium users in Sweden are acquired through Telia and we expect that this figure will continue to rise substantially," said Spotify global head of telecom business development Andreas Liffgarden.