updated 06:55 pm EDT, Tue August 25, 2009
Facebook May Buy Spotify
Facebook is looking to acquire Spotify in what may represent a significant change in the way listeners get music, a rumor claims. While Facebook has supposedly been in talks to buy the unlimited music streaming service for the past year, TechCrunch has heard that the recent MySpace buyout of iLike has stepped up the pressure to take action in the past week. Those associated with the company have lately been expressing public interest in the company, including compliments to Spotify from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in a status update and investor Li Ka-Shing putting money into Spotify alongside the social network.
It's not said how likely a deal would be or, if it's in development, how close it is to becoming official.
Besides opening the possibility to a Spotify web app and competition against MySpace Music, an acquisition could accelerate a US release of the service and significantly increase competition against more commercial services like Amazon MP3 or iTunes. In its currently European-only form, Spotify has been a popular alternative to listening on a computer as it gives typical users ad-supported but free and unlimited access to songs as long as they are on an Internet-connected computer. Paid subscriptions exist for the equivalent of $14 a month, but these remove ads and double the bitrate to 320Kbps.
The musci service has lately submitted a Spotify iPhone app that would make further inroads into Apple's territory by letting its touchscreen devices, particularly the iPhone, stream music on the go instead of having to use up onboard storage.