The music streaming market is beginning to look a bit like a sardine tin. The next company in line for the squeeze: Facebook.
According to report by Music Ally, the social network has plans to join Jay-Z and Apple by launching its own subscription streaming service to compete with Spotify. The sources, who were speaking off the record, indicated that Facebook has a two-stage plan to establish itself within the music industry: first, create an ad-supported music video streaming platform; next, use this secure base as a launch pad for a straight-up audio streaming service.
The first part of this plan is, according to the unnamed sources, already well underway and a video hosting platform on Facebook could be delivered within a few months. When it arrives, Facebook intends to match YouTube, the dominant force in the music video market, in terms of price, offering revenue to content providers that may eventually exceed that afforded by Google's platform.
As for audio-only streaming, this will only come to fruition once the video part of the business has been mastered, which means that a finished product is still probably a long way off.
When it eventually does arrive, the music streaming market could have shifted dramatically. In the past twelve months Spotify has doubled its subscriber base to 20 million, and word has it that Apple is targeting 100 million subscribers with its brand new Apple Music service. How much room there will be for newcomers remains unknown, but Facebook stands a better chance than most thanks to its potential for targeted advertising and 1.44 billion active users.
For the moment, all you have to do is decide which currently available service is for you, so we have weighed up the relative merits of Spotify, Tidal, Google Play Music, and Apple Music to help you make an informed choice.