Will Facebook start to close the supply and demand gap in digital music?

Many say they would pay for digital content, but don’t, as services as Spotify aren’t rich and compelling enough. Will Facebook’s coming music service finally start to provide the right musical experience to bridge the gap between supply and demand in the digital music market?

Facebook intends to launch its long-rumored music service in a few days with Spotify, MOG and Rdio as three of the company’s launch partners. The music and media platform will be announced at Facebook’s f8 developer conference on Sept. 22 and will allow users to listen to music from within Facebook.com.

Facebook will probably not directly host or stream any music or media. Instead, it will rely on partners to provide the content. This is in contrast to Apple, Google and Amazon’s strategy of hosting music content on their servers. Facebook’s plan is to become a platform for media content in the same way it is a platform for applications and games.

Sales of paid digital content have stalled, although consumer demand for many services is still growing. 95% of music downloads are illegal. Most media companies’ efforts to create digital product portfolios use analogue models as a template, and most are unsuccessful. Despite a clear and profound shift in the way we access and consume media content, traditional content providers have largely failed to adapt their products to meet consumer needs. Social media, exemplified by Facebook, has changed the way Internet users engage with content: They now expect a rich digital content experience — and, according to our surveys, they are willing to pay for it. Spotify tries building an experience by adding social features, but it’s not enough. More radical product innovation is required to build customer-centric premium digital content experiences. Focus on compelling user experiences first and business models second. Only differentiated, connected, and interactive music experiences will drive strong consumer uptake. Facebook has the platform and the reach that I think in theory could foster this. Will we soon see some real innovation that gives us what we want?

Sources: Forrester Research, Mashable

Check out the history of music in numbers:

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