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As much as the headlines speak of a forthcoming epic clash between Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) in streamed music, Facebook may ultimately be the one to lead the movement forward. The social network is working with Spotify on a fully integrated service that could launch within two weeks, Forbes reports.

For those unfamiliar, Spotify has a catalog of more than 13 million tracks delivered via the Web to 10 million listeners, 1 million of whom have signed up for paying accounts. Artists and musicians are paid every time a user clicks one of their songs. Warner Music (NYSE: WMG  ) is a partner.

Spotify is only available in various European countries as of this writing. Thus, if Forbes' reporting is accurate and "Facebook Music" is launched in two weeks, only listeners in those regions will get access to streaming. Statesiders like me will have to wait.

So be it. The service sounds like it'll be worth the wait. Instead of navigating to a separate fan page as users do now, Facebook would embed Spotify on users' home screens in the left navigation tab -- in the same list that includes links to photos and events. It's a level of integration that should please music-fancying Facebookers.

Which, honestly, should surprise exactly no one. Napster co-founder Sean Parker was involved in the early days of Facebook and is an investor in Spotify through his role at the Founders Fund. These two companies were meant to work together.

But there's also a broader theme at work here. Like (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) , Facebook is racing to aggregate commercial content. The difference is Facebook also wants to socialize movies and music. and peer Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) are only interested in playing postman. Google, too, if the beta of Google Music that I'm experimenting with now fails to go beyond its current Cloud Player-like interface.

In this sense, Apple may be Facebook's primary target with a Spotify offering. The Mac maker has socialized iTunes with the introduction of Ping. Trouble is, most of the (ahem) socializing is artists broadcasting tour dates to fans.

Forbes says no money is changing hands in the deal, but the very act of powering a social music service could mean Zynga-like money for Spotify while granting Facebook an edge in its quest to be the online entertainment platform of choice.

Who else is poised to profit from the rise of digital on-demand services? Take a minute to watch this free video right now, and you'll walk away with a richer understanding of the opportunity cloud computing offers to investors.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Netflix,, Apple, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying puts in Netflix. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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  • Report this Comment On May 17, 2012, at 4:53 PM, ulrichvalue wrote:

    I will not buy facebook stocks now. Facebook has first do deliver, it s still only fantasy in terms of numbers.

    Also an great investment in the it sector is germanys Bechtle. The stock is cheap, growing and has a healthy dividend and equity capital over 50 % ( ).

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