No Spotify inside Facebook, two record labels still needed for US launch

There has been some interesting speculation regarding the relationship between hot (at least in Europe) music streaming service Spotify and gargantuan social platform Facebook. Now Forbes is reporting that Facebook has partnered with Spotify on a streaming service that “could be launched in as little as two weeks” via a Spotify icon in a user’s newsfeed.

However, our sources are pouring ice cold water on the idea. The reasons are thus: Even through Spotify is doing very well on its home turf of Sweden… and has launched in Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the UK – it has yet to launch in the US. And a launch in the next two weeks looks highly optimistic.

Our sources say the reason is that Spotify has in fact secured two big unnamed record labels – but needs two more labels to come on board before it can launch in the US.

Since those negotiations are ongoing and complex, to suggest that it might be two weeks away from launching a brand new service on the US-audience heavy Facebook would be highly premature. And the information I have is that they wouldn’t launch a service on Facebook at all unless it was global+US.

It is far more likely that Spotify would first launch its US service – probably still several weeks or even months away – and only well after their traction data was gathered think about partnerships with the likes of Facebook or others.

Part of the reason the media keep putting Facebook and Spotify in bed together is to do with the ability to share Spotify playlists with Facebook friends. This is not a complex integration and the kind of thing lots and lots of other startups do, to allow users to leverage their Facebook social graph within an application.

But it is a long way from saying Spotify is going to deeply integrate with Facebook. And although Facebook has made very nice noises about Spotify – including Mark Zuckerberg praising the platform – it’s unlikely that Spotify would run it’s full, premium service through Facebook.

If they did anything it would be a taster service, along the lines of the new restricted service terms announced recently, where the record labels effectively told Spotify that users should no longer have a free lunch.

So, there you have it. There’s no sign – as far as we can see – of Spotify streaming inside Facebook in the next two weeks, because there is no sign of a US launch for the music startup until it has at least two more record labels on board. And even then, a Facebook deal would be some time after that, if at all.