Earlier this week, rumors surfaced, stemming from a Forbes report, indicating that Facebook and Spotify were partnering on a new music service, though the comments from both companies didn't seem to indicate that their relationship was changing very much.
According to a report from the New York Times, Facebook is actually in talks with "several online music services" on the development of a tab/widget that would "display a user's most-played songs and provide an easy way for friends to hear them." The report cites "two people involved in the discussions".
Facebook's official statement on the subject is, “We’re always looking for better ways to help people discover the most relevant content on Facebook but have nothing to announce.”
CEO Mark Zuckerberg is quoted as saying this week, “Listening to music is something that people do with their friends. Music, TV, news, books — those types of things I think people just naturally do with their friends. I hope we can play a part in enabling those new companies to get built, and companies that are out there producing this great content to become more social.”
The earlier Forbes report regarding a Facebook/Spotify partnership indicated that no money would change hands.
It remains to be seen what other services are involved, but there are certainly opportunities for a variety of services to get more heavily integrated with Facebook, and the online music space continues to grow.
Google, a company whose rivalry with Facebook also continues to grow, launched Google Music beta a couple weeks ago (still on an invitation-only basis). Amazon has souped up its offerings with the cloud, and mSpot unveiled a very interesting service this week, combining cloud music storage with Internet radio streaming based on the user's collection - kind of an mSpot meets Pandora.
Given that Spotify isn't available in the U.S. it's good for Facebook users in this country that that's not the only company involved. We can only speculate that other companies may include Pandora, Last.fm, and Grooveshark, each of which provide free services.