Facebook to Music App Developers: You Need Us

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(from Billboard.biz, November 6, 2012) On Tuesday, Facebook proclaimed its impressive record as a foundation for  music applications. “Facebook Timeline Apps and Music, A Year Later” discusses music applications that have been successful this past year. Lincoln Hochberg of Facebook talks about the apps Songza, BandPage, 8 Tracks, KKBOX, Saayn, and Soundtracking have been relatively successful with Facebook as a stage.

The application not boasted about is Spotify. Easily the most popular music application on Facebook, it only receives an honorable mention. Spotify has 23.5 million active users according to the application traffic leaderboard AppData.com.

Facebook reformatted into the new Timeline layout in September 2011, around the same time as the post. The Timeline format organizes user profiles in reverse chronological order, from the most recent, down through older posts.

Hochberg described how Timeline impacted music applications. “62.6 million songs have been played 22 billion times through timeline apps—that’s about 210,000 years’ worth of music.” He goes on to say that the music applications utilized play music according to users’ preferences, and recommend songs based on what the user is doing.

Facebook has to work to gain other entertainment applications by beating out competition. Even with more than one billion users, Facebook has to convince the applications that they can bring more. With the move towards mobile devices, Facebook is fighting to compete alongside major companies including Apple and Google.

Because of the competition, Hochberg emphasized the growth that music applications on Facebook have experienced. Facebook is one of 8tracks’ major sources of traffic. 8tracks users generate approximately 4 million Facebook shares every week.

BandPage “has grown by three times in the last few months.” The program allows artists to create customized fan pages. Songza streams playlists based on their users’ moods and activities, like working and exercising. It gained one million referrals from Facebook within a 30- day time period from 650,000 referrals the previous month. Facebook users were reported as listening for 20% longer than other consumers.

The message was that music app developers need Facebook, and Facebook needs them.