Rasmus Andersson, the chief designer behind Spotify, Europe's extremely popular cloud-based music service, is exiting the company to join Facebook. Is the social network planning to create a similar music service?
Andersson will join Facebook as a product designer in October at their San Francisco headquarters. There, according to a June post on his personal blog which surfaced today, he's looking to go on a journey of innovation and design, and hints that music will be a part of that voyage:
I believe Facebook is a very interesting entity which is changing the way we look at the internet in large — I’m thrilled and very happy to become a part of that. For me, working with basic human needs (music, social interaction, etc) in an aspect where peoples lives are being improved, has always been the focus of my professional life, thus both Spotify and now Facebook.
Will he bring music and social interaction to Facebook now? Hopefully yes. And it wouldn't be the first time. Several months ago, Andersson announced a similar combination of music and social networking on Spotify. "We have introduced the oh so familiar concept of friends & followers," he wrote, "mainly based on Facebook Connect." That next-gen version of Spotify was pretty sleek. Just imagine an iTunes/Facebook mix, where to share a song, you'd just have to drag the track onto a friend's name for he or she to receive it.
"At the right hand side you're now able to toggle a sidebar containing a list of friends (and foes) you're following on Spotify or are friends with on Facebook," he continued.
Andersson's move marks yet another Internet heavyweight potentially entering the music game to shake up Apple's hegemony. Only last month came leaks of a new service called Google Music, and soon news came of a top digital music lawyer joining the search giant. Moreover, at the New Music Seminar a few weeks ago, Google/YouTube, Facebook, and Pandora were all highlighted as potential answers to iTunes' digital monopoly.
This also is more bad news for Spotify, which has been bogged down in record label negotiations that have delayed the launch of its cloud-based service in the U.S. It looks like Andersson—and possibly Facebook—will beat them to the punch.