Will A Spotify Partnership Be Announced At Facebook's Developer Conference?
-- If Facebook is going to announce any sort of music product or partnership, it could come at the company's just-announced f8 developer conference on Sept. 22. There has been a lot of talk that Spotify will introduce some sort of integration with Facebook. Just the fact that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg once tweeted his love of Spotify got the rumor mill running at full steam.
That talk is somewhat well-founded - Spotify's own marketing materials for its July U.S. launch played up tie-ins with Facebook, as detailed by MediaMemo. "150m Facebook users will start to see music on their feeds," it reads. "One click and they can have Spotify." Indeed, Spotify users can share albums and songs via Facebook and Spotify features prominently in the post. But that's more an integration than a partnership, and industry watchers are looking for more of a partnership between the two companies.
As Inside Facebook notes, the 2010 f8 conference launched a number of products incuding the "like" button, social plugins and the Graph API, a view of Facebook's social graph that represents objects in the graph and the connections between them.
Pandora's Stock Rises and Falls
-- Words of assurance from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke sent stocks upward Friday morning, but Pandora didn't need much outside help. Its shares (NYSE: P) were up nearly 10% in midday trading and closed the day up 7.5%. That followed an increase of 3.3% Thursday - all of that gain coming after the company released its fiscal second quarter results 30 minutes before the end of the trading day. The positive investor reaction followed Thursday's earnings results that showed company generated revenue of $67 million. Analysts were expecting $61.1 million, according to an AP report.
Pandora is still trading well below its $16 offering price, however. The stock opened trading at $20 back on June 15 and jumped as high as $26 on that first day of trading. Since then the stock has failed to find solid footing and reached a low of $11.00 on August 9.
Elsewhere, major indexes closed higher Friday and many stocks followed by Billboard gained. Live Nation closed the day up $1.3% to $8.51 after falling as far as $8.11 during the day. That was quite close to its 52-week low of $7.94, reached last Monday.
Omniphone To Be Omnipresent With BlackBerry Partnership
-- Omniphone, which powers BlackBerry's upcoming music service, will soon dominate the market, says its chief executive officer. Speaking after a BlackBerry press conference, Omniphone CEO Jeff Hughes said, "By the end of next year, our platform will service, with our partners, more paying subscribers than any other digital music service on the planet."
How will Omniphone get there? The BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) music service should help. Consumers will pay $5 for 50 songs per month. Those songs can be shared with friends using the BBM, a proprietary instant messenger platform that's popular with many BlackBerry users. It's a unique service that obviously seeks to occupy a new area in the marketplace. Newly independent analyst Mark Mulligan, formerly with Forrester Research, says BlackBerry has set itself apart by targeting a defined user segment. "Blackberry's youth appeal largely stems from BBM presenting a cost-free alternative to texting for text hungry youths," he wrote at his blog. "Blackberry's ability to successfully simultaneously target these two almost diametrically opposed segments with the same device portfolio has been little short of masterful.
In addition, Hughes was not specific but said the company will announced more deals before the end of the year. He added that Omnifone is in talks with auto manufacturers about putting a music service into vehicle dashboards, although those types of deals tend to have a longer incubation period and probably won't have an impact this year.
Google Backslides on Slide
-- Not that it impacts the music business, but readers may want to know that Google is shutting down Slide, the social applications business it acquired in August 2010 for $182 million. It seems all Slide products will be shut down except one: Prizes.org. According to a TechCrunch report, Prizes.org was developed in China for Google and will be pursued. The others - Disco, Pool Party, SuperPoke!,Video Inbox and Photovine - are all dead.
Slide was founded as a photo-sharing service but ended up making a variety of social apps for the Facebook platform. The company was founded in 2005. Max Levchin, a co-founder of PayPal, was CEO and chairman. He is reportedly leaving the company.