As much as the headlines speak of a forthcoming epic clash between Apple
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
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 Amazon.com
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.
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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.