For Facebook, Spotify, and Pandora, 2011 was an incredible year of growth regarding digital music- and there is no sign of them slowing down. 2012 is predicted to be an even bigger year to expand their dominance of the Internet music industry.
Facebook made huge strides in the music world with the release of its digital content dashboard. Users are able to stream music, view what their friends are listening to, and even share music. Facebook was able to team up with rising Internet radio superstar Spotify, and gain control of its current user base. Possibly the best part of Facebook’s musical takeover is the fact that not a dollar was spent on music licenses.
The Swedish stream service, known as Spotify has grown tremendously in popularity in the United States music market, largely due to Facebook. Starting with approximately 840,000 paying subscribers in the beginning of 2011, Spotify hit 2.5 million subscribers in November. The partnership with Facebook brought this service 500,000 new users in just October and November 2011 alone.
Internet radio giant Pandora hit the 100 million-user mark in July of 2011, representing 3.6% of entire US radio listening hours. Pandora’s ability to track user’s music interests and trends allow for accurate music recommendations and outstanding user satisfaction.
Facebook, already the most revolutionary social media website in history, has plans to maneuver its way into becoming the biggest player in the digital music industry. According to Music Industry Blog, “Facebook is quietly collecting unprecedentedly deep user data from the world’s leading streaming music services. By mid-2012 Facebook should be in a position to take this to the record labels (along with artist profile page data) in the form of a series of product propositions.” Spotify is beginning to produce music apps to rival Apple’s App Store. With Facebook at its side, Spotify will more than likely secure its presence in the market for the long run. As for Pandora, the competition created by Spotify will drive the company to make changes in 2012. They will most likely rely on loyal customers to continue utilizing and advertising their services. However, according to many sources, Pandora is still seen as the future of Internet radio.