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Facebook may launch audio music streaming service to compete with Spotify, Apple, others

Facebook is reportedly planning to enter the online
music streaming segment. The social networking behemoth is planning to launch a
music streaming service, which will directly compete with Spotify and Apple Music,
anonymous sources tell Music Ally’s Eamonn Forde. The service is still in the initial stages of development.

Facebook is reportedly planning to enter the online
music streaming segment. The social networking behemoth is planning to launch a
music streaming service, which will directly compete with Spotify and Apple Music,
anonymous sources tell Music Ally’s Eamonn Forde. The service is still in the initial stages of development.

Facebook is preparing to launch music videos on its
social network within the next few months, according
to Music Ally
. Could this perhaps be the reason why the company has
recently been in talks with major music labels? 

According to the report, the service will function
similarly to YouTube’s music video efforts, with Facebook paying royalties to
rights holders, and affording them a system of registering their content to
prevent piracy. And Facebook will match YouTube’s royalty rates at launch time,
reports Music Ally. 

Facebook’s music video plans are at an
“advanced stage” and that the service is “way ahead of YouTube,”
reports Music Ally, citing an anonymous source.

In India, the music streaming service will compete with Gaana.com from media giant
Times Internet, Rdio —
which acquired
shuttered Indian rival Dhingana
 and launched in India this
year — and music and video service Hungama, which raised a $100
million round
 earlier this year, Apple, which finally launched its Apple
Music service in 100 countries
, including India, anf music streaming
service Saavn
that recently secured $100 million Series C round
led by Tiger Global.

The big question is whether Facebook will build or buy its streaming music
service? According to the report, with the company having paid $19 billion for
messaging app WhatsApp, $2 billion for virtual reality startup Oculus VR and $1
billion for photo-sharing app Instagram, it has proven willing to splash out at
multiple levels for companies to expand its offering.

In other news, Facebook’s new tools will allow users to tweak what they
see in their feed. According to a report, using the new tools
users will be able to choose the friends and pages they want to see on their
news feed first.

How it works is that you first go to the friend’s
profile. Click on the box that says “following” and select “see
first.” One will then see any new stories they’ve shared since his/her last
visit to Facebook at the top of News Feed, with a star in the top right of
their post so the user knows why they’re at the top. Users can scroll down to
see the rest of their News Feed normally.

Facebook’s computer software uses a wide range of
information users provide to decide what to show. This includes what friends
one interact with and how often or whether users tend to like photos, videos or
text updates more. The company said that they help find new Pages to follow and
can also help users to connect with publishers, artists and businesses they might
be interested in.

While announcing
the new tools on Thursday, Facebook acknowledged that its automated system
isn’t perfect, so it wants to give users a way to set their own preferences. 

In addition to selecting who or what page the users
will see first, user’s will still be able to “unfollow” friends so they
won’t see them at all. This option has been available before to people who
don’t want to take drastic step of unfriending someone but would rather not
read about their lives.

The update is available Thursday on iPhones and
iPads and is being rolled out in the coming weeks to Android phones and
personal computers. 

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