Despite complaints, benefits of Facebook data may be too good to give up

Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 9:00am

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg announces the social network's music partnersFacebook, music services and webcasters are weathering user complaints over changes since the introduction of the social network's new music integration last week (RAIN coverage here). The update allows services like iHeartRadio, Slacker, Spotify, MOG, Rdio and others to automatically post information on Facebook about what you're listening to.

On-demand music service Spotify in particular has made headlines for requiring new users to register using Facebook. Already Spotify has responded, launching a "private listening mode" that won't post users' listening to Facebook (Lifehacker has more here).

Clear Channel's iHeartRadio also requires Facebook logins to use the new custom radio service. Many listeners aren't thrilled about that, reports Inside Radio (one listener commented it was "a step in the wrong direction"), but "other [services] are contemplating a similar move." The benefits of integrating with Facebook may simply be too good for radio to pass up.

For one thing, there's the exposure that comes with posting content to Facebook users' timelines. "Services like Slacker and iHeartRadio should be able to pick up new users easily," wrote Billboard (here). "With low barriers to adoption and Facebook's broad user base, Slacker and iHeartRadio should be well represented in users' news feeds and tickers."

Then there's the valuable data about users that Facebook provides. "The marketing leverage that can be achieved through integrations with things like Facebook is at this point almost impossible to measure -- it’s so phenomenal," Triton Loyalty president Chris Bell told Inside Radio. Facebook provides important information about users, which allows radio to offer better ads and create an overall better experience, argued Bell. "The reality is age, gender and Zip code information would put the radio industry light years ahead of where it is now."

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