Facebook Wants Music, But Doesn't Want To Tangle With Labels

This story was written by Tameka Kee.
Buoyed perhaps by the frenzy surrounding the launch of MySpace Music last month, Facebook is revealing more details about its musical ambitions, the New York Post reports. We have heard about this a few times before, but the project is not as much a "me too" play as was previously thought. Differences:

Facebook doesn't want to give away equity: MySpace Music traded equity in exchange for securing licenses to various tracks from its four partners: Universal Music Group, *Sony* BMG, *Warner Music Group* and EMI. Facebook doesn't even want to deal with the hassle of acquiring those licenses, let alone offering up equity in exchange. Still Zuckerberg and other execs have continued to meet with label execs to broker some kind of deal.

Facebook doesn't want to build a whole new site: The network doesn't want to "bog itself down" with the development of an additional property, seeking instead to integrate more deeply with existing music partners like Rhapsody.com, iMeem.com, iLike.com, and Lala.com.

It may not actually happen: The Post's sources said that Facebook isn't committed to the idea, and could ultimately walk away from it if all the pieces don't come together. Clearly the promise of wringing more revenue out of Facebook's users in the form of an ad-supported music platform is attractive, but there's the looming question of how to effectively connect all the moving parts. After all, *News Corp*. has backed away from its supposed "Hulu for music" spinoff, despite the success (so far) of MySpace Music.


By Tameka Kee
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