The rumors about Facebook partnering with music services have been swirling for a while now. Last month, the New York Times reported that the company was in talks with several 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.
Now, Om Malik at GigaOm claims to have some details about just what Facebook has up its sleeve, based on what it has been talking to these services about, and that details will be unveiled at the company's f8 developer event expected in August.
Features, according to Malik, will include: a Music tab that will show music you've listened to on partner services, a playback/pause button at the bottom of the page by the chat icon, a page with "a snapshot" of songs you've listened to on these services and top tracks and the number of times you've listened to them, and a "Music Dashboard," which includes notifications about your friends listening to songs you recommend, songs recommended by your friends, top songs from friends, top albums from friends, recent listens from friends, and a "happening now" ticker.
It's hard to say how popular such a service would be. On the one hand, people are already sharing music on Facebook frequently (and doing plenty of other things while they're at it), so this would seem like a natural next step. On the other hand, people are already sharing music on Facebook in ways that they are already comfortable with. My gut is telling me that it will be heavily used, if this is indeed how it it is presented.
The whole thing is simply one factor of a much broader vision of what Facebook is becoming, which is something of a hub for all things entertainment-related (which in and of itself is only one factor of an even broader vision). Movie studios are now renting movies through Facebook. I expect that will become much more commonplace.
In terms of music alone, Facebook is already an indispensable marketing tool. Musicians are already hosting special events (like paid concert streams) on Facebook. Facebook is where people are talking about music and "liking" all of their favorite artists to keep up to date. Anything that Facebook does to keep people on the site more, in a musical state of mind, is only going to solidify Facebook as an important place for musicians to promote their work.