Facebook is planning to announce a music platform at its f8 conference on September 22, according to an anonymous source speaking to CNBC. The platform is rumored to be less of a retail outlet à la iTunes than a setting for streaming services like Pandora or Spotify to engage customers.
Whispers of a Facebook music service have made the rounds before, and many companies have since attempted to enter the market without much success, including Best Buy and RIM. In the meantime, dedicated services like Rdio, Grooveshark, and Spotify have flourished, though few have managed to duplicate the straightforward-sales success of iTunes.
CNBC speculates that Facebook will offer a platform for third-party services to deliver music to their customers, rather than trying to directly compete with them. Facebook's swath of 750 million users and heavy use of advertising could provide a promising new way for these services to reach new customers, and hold current ones more tightly in their grasp.
Mark Zuckerberg has indicated before that he considers the volume of content users are sharing to be a more important metric than the total number of users. Current Facebook users are able to share their music interests on a limited basis through services like Last.fm; after September 22, that type of sharing may stand to get a big boost.