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Facebook partners for easy song, film sharing--report

Following yesterday's rumblings about media deals to be announced at Facebook's F8 confab this week, The New York Times says Spotify and Rhapsody have signed on, and that movies and TV shows will also be part of the mix.

Edward Moyer Senior Editor
Edward Moyer is a senior editor at CNET and a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world. He enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch. ¶ For nearly a quarter of a century, he's edited and written stories about various aspects of the technology world, from the US National Security Agency's controversial spying techniques to historic NASA space missions to 3D-printed works of fine art. Before that, he wrote about movies, musicians, artists and subcultures.
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Following reports yesterday that suggested Facebook would use its upcoming F8 developers conference to announce some sort of music and/or video service, The New York Times says it has confirmed the service with anonymous industry sources, and the paper has provided some details on how the new service will look.

Yesterday, Dutch entrepreneur and developer Yvo Schaap spied a clue in the HTML for the Web sites of Spotify, Rhapsody, and several other major music services that pointed to some type of custom Facebook format. Meanwhile, The New York Post reported that Hulu and Facebook would announce at this week's F8 confab deeper integration of their two sites. Netflix was also mentioned in the Post story.

Now the Times is reporting that Facebook "will unveil a media platform that will allow people to easily share their favorite music, television shows, and movies, effectively making the basic profile page a primary entertainment hub."

According to the paper, Facebook users will be able to post links to the songs, music videos, or movies they're watching, and their Facebook friends will be able to click directly to the content and check it out themselves. The links will appear in a Facebook user's news feed, or on a tab or in a widget incorporated into user profiles.

The Times piece quotes David Hyman, CEO of music service MOG, as saying that the Facebook service is meant to do away with the "friction" involved in similar link-sharing arrangements, where, in the case of MOG, a nonsubscriber following a subscriber's link to a song would land on a page that urged the nonsubscriber to sign up and asked for a credit card number.

The Times article focuses on music services and talks of the linked-to songs as being offered for free to those who click the special links. But it says neither MOG nor rival Rdio would say how much free music would be offered.

The Times lists Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, MOG, French company Deezer, and music video site Vevo--all services mentioned by code-sifter Schaap--as being among the companies signing on to the arrangement. It also says about five other music services will be involved (Schaap mentions Soundcloud). The paper names no specific companies that stream movies and TV shows.

The Times said a Facebook representative declined to comment and that its sources cautioned that the plan's specifics could change.