Bands and labels that stream music from their Facebook pages, the way they do with Myspace, are in for a big surprise: Facebook is phasing out its native Music Player app, which allowed them to post songs and discographies on the social network.
Instead, Facebook recommends that they post videos instead, rely on third-party apps, and stay tuned for more ways to put their music on Facebook.
Rumors swirled as early as 2008 about Facebook either launching its own music service to let artists and labels distribute music directly or partnering with outside companies instead. Facebook seems to be going the latter route, letting other companies deal with the headaches associated with securing rights from artists, labels, and publishers.
First, it partnered with seemingly every major music service under the sun to let people hear what their friends are listening to. Now, it is deleting its homegrown Music Player app, so the MP3 streaming and discography features are currently disappearing from band pages.
One possibility, as noted by CMU, is that the social network doesn't want to deal with the vagaries of making sure that none of the music on its site infringes copyright, which is a consideration that could threaten any company - even one as big as Facebook - if Congress passes the Protect IP Act.
However, Facebook's deletion of its own Music Player app could also be setting the stage for something bigger: a more sophisticated suite of tools with which artists, managers, and labels can reach fans on Facebook.
Yes, Facebook could build that itself, but that would A) expose it to copyright headaches, and B) put Facebook in competition with some of the music companies with which it is trying to partner. That's why we suspect Facebook plans to announce partnerships with sites like Bandcamp, ReverbNation, and Buzzdeck, which already help bands reach fans and/or monitor activity on social networks including Facebook.