back to article Spotify tethers future to Facebook

This is a story with huge implications for the future of the web. Even if you don't use Facebook or Spotify - I don't - and couldn't care less, you can nevertheless start to see how business relationships will develop. Last week's alliance between Facebook and Spotify turns out to be a much better deal for Facebook than …


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  1. Pen-y-gors

    What a pain

    Now we're going to have to have dozens of different facebook accounts in different names - one for government services, a different one for spotify (and a 'real' one for communicating with friends and stalkers if you really want to) - so much easier to just have one a/c for spotify, one for govt etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      And Zuck smiles

      "Now we're going to have to have dozens of different facebook accounts in different names"

      And Zuck gets to claim millions more gullets, millions more seats clicking links, and charge billions more in advertising fees.

      Somehow I don't think that would displease him.

      Don't sign up for this crap, not with Zuck, not with anybody else - you WILL be sold (out) - you are NOT the customer, you are the product.

      (megaphone for that is how marketing treats us all).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Most Muppets...

      I know already have a multitude of accounts... Mostly redundant. (Probably why FB can claim to have 800 million users. How many active, unique I wonder?)... At this rate next year they'll have surpassed the the number of people on the planet as users.

      This one reckons that any service that ties a user to having to authenticate through Facebook, Google or similar social networking twaddlery sucks soild pants.

      Still, could be worse, could have been Google ID.

      It's all bullshit best avoided.

      1. AdamWill


        I do too, but only recently: until the last few months most people I know only had one account. One of the big reasons why people have multiple accounts now is something Facebook's been pushing enthusiastically - social games. Yes, you can share guns and pizza recipes and magical poop and whatever the hell else talisman these things contain with your real friends, but it's a sight easier (looked at from a certain angle, anyway) to create a bunch of fake accounts and share guns and pizza recipes and magical poop with _those_.

        I bet if someone at Facebook did a search they'd be surprised at how many accounts exist which apparently do nothing at all but play games...

      2. Benjamin 4
        Black Helicopters


        This is hypocritical, but I wouldn't mind if it used a Google account, since I actually use my Google account on a day to day basis, but since I don't have a facebook account, let alone use it it seems pointless.

        But the over-riding question is why can't people just have individual accounts. The more I see of the way computers etc are going the less I like it. We have less and less control over the physical hardware, our files and how we access content every day. The government planning to use facebook as an ID system just seems to be the biggest load of bull ever.

        I hear black helicopters!!

  2. CD001

    Am I missing something...

    Am I missing something or is it that Spotify are basically now just using the Facebook ID API (or whatever it's called) to deal with logins ... they could have used OpenID or Google ID to achieve the same ends - this is something that _many_ web services are doing these days so that they can farm off the whole user auth part of the code and their users get the convenience of being able to use the same login over many services (good idea or otherwise).

    Of course they could _always_ use the same login details on multiple services but this way you have a single point of internet "identity" - update your details or change your password in one place and it's updated your details for all places... the biggest concern here is that Facebook are angling to become the defacto operator for everyone's internet identity.

    I'm not convinced the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to having a unified "internet identity" - even less so when the data controller is Facebook.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yep your missing something. If you don't own the user login, your marketing pull is either pulling users to Facebook or locking users to Facebook. Not your own business. Moving forward many Spotify users will never set up a Spotify account. If they can't convert users to paying users, and later get dumped by Facebook, they will be in a far far worse position than if they never used Facebook at all. Also, Facebook, with evidence of the value of the music streaming business, can, with clear proof of the value of the business, at any time launch their own streaming service. And being the central point with a "Pay with Facebook" payments service, together with user dislike for entering credit card details, Facebook can clean up at a time of their choosing.

    2. AdamWill

      you're missing...

      ...that OpenID is a federated, de-centralized system which is not subject to any one vendor's control. Facebook and Google ID certainly are not. You really don't see the scariness of a world where Facebook and/or Google become the de facto arbiters of everyone's online identity?!

  3. GrumpyJoe

    I'm getting sick to the back teeth of the bandwagon hopping - killed my Facebook account ages ago and don't miss it one bit and my limited feedback from friends and family is that they are getting 'bored' with it.

    Tying your colours to another person's mast is NOT a good idea - let's ALL give Facebook the Crown Jewels to look after!

    Anything that implicitly ties itself to Facebook is coming for a reckoning as numbers drop. And they will.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You've ... tied your colourful crown jewels to Facebook's mast ...?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward



  4. Benny

    Ah, so thats why Spotify asked me to give it permissions to Facebook. I just denied it and it still works fine.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      just removed it from FB

      I granted access to FB ages ago, I just logged into FB removed those permissions. I'm nappy to be offered the option to sign in with facebook, but to be forced into having and account is madness.

      I'm sticking to grooveshark for now, much easier, and you can choose FB google or their own login.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Alternatives to Spotify?

    I'm a (paid) user of Spotify. I'm not a Facebook user (and I hope never will be). Although it seems I can still use the service it's become noticably more painful and naggy about connecting to Facebook, of course. What alternatives are out there for legal, advertising-free unlimited music streaming (for money)?

    1. Vitani

      Do what I'm doing

      I've stopped paying for Spotify recently for different reasons to this article, but I'm using the money I'm saving to BUY the music I want, rather than renting it. I find the good old fashioned radio is great for finding new music, then just go to a shop and buy it.

      1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

        @Vitani - Well said!

        Another option for finding new music is just skim through stuff on Amazon, sometimes it feels just like the good old days when you wandered into a record shop ( gosh, remember those? ) and just picked something out of the rack for laughs! I would say I got about a 70% hit rate for stuff I liked plus some wonderful surprises in stuff I would never have tried otherwise.

        Get so sick of having some marketing droid's analytic system dictate that if I like XYZ I will like ABC, maybe so but where's the love?! No, sometimes I just want to put a pin the record listings and try something new for a laugh. With all this marketing, linking bullshit we seem to be allowed so few surprises in our lives these days.

        Fight back!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      great flash based player, runs on Android and webOS so I'm happy.

  6. The BigYin


    ...I guess Spotify will never see my money then.

    I realise that's not big loss to them, but this could hurt them in the future if more people wake-up to the privacy disaster that is Facebook. I do not want people knowing what I listen to nor, frankly, do I think anyone cares. I can't see why Spotify have taken this bone-headed decision.

    1. LaeMing

      "I can't see why Spotify have taken this bone-headed decision."

      Monorail! Monorail! ... Monorail!!

  7. Mike Brown

    that decides that then

    ive been dithering over cancelling my FB account after the "whole of your life history" speech. and concurrantly ive been trying to decide between spotify and sonys music unlimited. looks like spotify just made that decision much easier. thanks chaps, and good bye!

    1. RayG

      Good grief.

      Something has gone seriously wrong when Sony starts looking like the less evil choice.

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Bye bye Spotify

    It was nice while it lasted.

    I hadn't yet logged in this month to use up my 10 hours, but I now won't be because I don't have a Facebook account and probably will never have one unless Zuckerburg holds a pistol to my head. Spotify just lost some ad revenue.

    @Pen-y-gors: That'll work until Facebook block your account and ask you to send in a scan of your ID to be able to get in again. Feck that.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It rhymes

    Goodbye Spotify!

  10. squilookle

    I'm on Facebook because it's a convenient way of staying in touch with some people, I'm on Spotify because I want access to their music catalogue. I don't want to combine the two, I haven't felt the need to announce what I was listening to to everyone since I was about 13.

  11. fireman sam

    So, currently to avoid FB worms I have to take a copy of the link into another browser that doesn't hold my credentials. It now looks like I'll need to have a sandboxed browser for running FB (if I decide it's worth the hassle) and ensure that all cookies are deleted from that browser on restart.

    I don't want my FB credentials being passed all over the place without my permission.

    1. adnim


      Block Farcebook scripts from every site except Farcebook and accept session cookies only. Block all third party cookies. If flash is a necessity on some of the sites you visit install the better privacy add on. Of course this does mean using Firefox.

  12. Arrrggghh-otron

    digital distribution platforms...

    The only reason a title like "digital distribution platform" sticks to something like facebook is due to the volume of users. Don't forget it is only a social hub while people like it. As soon as it gets really annoying (and it did that for me a long time ago) people will start leaving, as soon as there is a better alternative people will start leaving or as soon as there is an alternative that has all your existing friends, people will leave. I'm not suggesting that it will die over night or even at all but what use is a billion accounts if they are hardly ever used?

    1. Dibbles


      Absolutely agree - I've been making this point for some time, but at present it's being drowned out by the people wanting to hitch their wagon to Facebook, whether as demented investors or distracted business partners.

  13. Disco-Legend-Zeke


    Using a social site as anchor takes a huge CRM load off any service provider.

    And the service provider brings specialized services.

    It's a symbiosis, you just need to pick out the right fungus.

  14. The Original Ash

    Thanks for this, Andrew

    I was considering my usage of Spotify recently, and much like you I subscribed to the Premium service (used it on my Android phone), but didn't really use it that much.

    Much like you, this decision will save me £10 per month.

  15. Max Sang

    Give a whirl

    You can't pick the exact tracks but it learns quickly what kind of things you like and its recommendation engine is excellent. I've discovered dozens of new bands (and bought a fair few of their CDs, I might add) because of Good for gig recommendations etc too. No, I don't work for them.

    1. kingosticks

      I think is invaluable but really only for the filtered gig listings. It's nowhere near to being a spotify alternative (it's not trying to be either). I don't get why this article would make any pre-existing spotify members leave, as others have said, when the permission dialogue comes up just decline - tricky stuff....

  16. captain veg Silver badge

    What do you suggest?

    Andrew Orlowski:

    "There's little point chafing about conditions on the Zuckerberg Reservation if you've handed him the future through your own inaction."

    OK, so what action to take? I've never been on TwitFace and don't intend to.


    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: What do you suggest?

      That was directed at the music industry.

      But I suppose you can:

      a) create a ghost Facebook page and never use it, to join Spotify

      b) join another streaming service like Spotify

      c) don't join a streaming service like Spotify at all

      I get by quite happily with c).

      There is more great music around that I have time to listen to, if I really like something, I have bought it within two minutes, and don't have to worry about DRM, lapsed subscriptions, etc.

  17. llodge

    Goodbye Spotify!

    Was considering giving Spotify a try.

    But not going to now - will try again.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      This is actually the wrong way round. Because you've no existing Spotify login, there's nothing to stop you creating a fictitious persona on FB. The only people who are screwed over by this are those who have already got a spotify login (quite possibly with accurate identifying information) that has now been assimilated by FaceBorg.

  18. GotThumbs

    Don't use either service....Will NEVER use FB.

    Plenty of other options available on the web for music. And I DON"T mean Apples Itunes. I'll also NEVER own an Apple product either. I simply choose to NOT bend to the will and control of these restrictive companies.

    We all have individual choices we make in our daily lives. Don't be content to let others make these decisions for you.

  19. 10,000 Angry Vegans

    Don't have a Wastebook account and Spotify has continued to work fine for me.

    The login screen has changed in appearance and, as others have already mentioned, there are puke-inducing nags entitled "Spotify Loves Social" - in addition to existing nags about me connecting the iPod I don't own - but with judicious clicking on 'Close' and/or 'No thanks' buttons it goes away and everything underneath still works.

    I would also wager that Spotify couldn't care less about the comparatively tiny number of us who don't care to sign up to Wastebook.

    1. ao7


      Same here.

      First month of paid for Spotify for me. I've gone for the £5/month option, which isn't that much, though it hurts that there's a better quality stream available. I hate ads, it's helped with some morality problems, Fb appears to be completely ignorable (fortunately, as I'm one of the 6bn without an account).

      It has made me more interested in alternatives, in case things become more intrusive / compulsory. I like Pandora, but I mostly don't want something similar to what I want, I want what I want and that probably needs paying for.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facepalm ID

    "Facebook is becoming the web's de facto identity system - the Cabinet Office is mulling using Facebook IDs for authentication to Government services, as we exclusively reported back in June."

    How is that even legal? Hand your personal information over to some US corporation so that you can pay your UK taxes? I know they're probably pooling information already, but do these people have any clue about separation of state and corporate interests?

    Despite the "bong" remarks, the government would be better off spending a modest amount of cash developing open Web capabilities instead of rubbing up against corporate barons and the Facebook set and hoping they get invited to some nice parties.

  21. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance

    I despise these cnuts...

    ...with every molecule of my being. They are a cancer on humanity.

    They are so transparent it makes me want to vomit.

    Nothing against making money through the music biz - but I prefer the cigar chomping fat sweaty perverts of yore to these tumorous twats.

    Their business model is greed and control. They would sell their granny for an extra return on profits. And where is the glamour?

    I am a songwriter and producer, but I would rather starve to death than deal with these dickheads. I just give my stuff away instead. I may be a hypocrite, but I also despise *most* musicians and *singers*. A few do it for the right reasons, but most have forms of mental illness.

    Still, like my Guinness, at least I'm not bitter!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Interestingly, the kids have been asking me about Google+. These are the kind of people that are Facebook prime territory.

    Might have something to do with the SPAM blown around Facebook in my son's name, but I think they are starting to see the bigger picture.

    Here's to more doing the same.

  23. curvebowel

    Flawed surely

    So what happens if you're a (newly signed up) paying spotify customer and facebook deletes your account for whatever reason?

  24. Axie

    Not all bad yet ...

    Just noticed: in case you are already a free user of Spotify without a Facebook account (like me), you can continue to use Spotify without having to sign up for Faceboook, at least for the time being ...

  25. Jim Carter

    On wising up

    I stopped using Spotify once I realised that I was essentially paying to be a rat at a feeder bar. A bit like your average WoW user really. I should add I am now reformed of that habit as well.

  26. AdamWill

    naive in the extreme

    "Such is the power of distribution platforms. Facebook has got one, and if you want to be on it, you play by Zuckerberg's rules. It has always been thus."

    except with, you know, email. And HTTP. And FTP. And Usenet. And IRC. And, oh, just about every protocol which defined all the useful things you can do on the internet (there really is very little that Facebook does that isn't more or less possible with a combination of email and IRC; it just has a pretty UI wrapper.)

    But no, yeah, it was ever thus, you're right on, Andrew. There's absolutely no alternative but to pick one or the other 'distribution platform' whose 'business relationship' you can be shafted by, lube up, and bend over. Thanks for the enlightenment, I shall do my best to stop being so hopelessly naive.

  27. Pirate Peter

    how will facebook use the data collected??

    wil they use it to remove fake accounts where the spotify information does not match the faceache information??

    you can just see them rubbing their grubby hands and wonder what new fields to put in their database to accomodate this new treasure trove of information, and once they have all of it they will ditch spotify and find another mug company to data rape of their customer information

    never trusted FB, never had an account, never will

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Imagine a virtual passport"

    I can and it is called OpenID you Spotty bastard! It also lets ME choose the provider...

  29. Dave Murray

    Bad move Spotify

    I don't understand how this can be a good move for Spotify. Previously their potential market was everyone in the relevant countries who likes music, now they've restricted their potential market to everyone in the relevant countrieswho has a Facebook account and likes music. Sounds like bad business to me.

    Hopefully they don't take this a step further and require FB login for current users because at that point I drop my Premium subscription and find another service. As I tell my friends I do not have a FB account and nor will I ever have one, if they want to be Zuck's bitches that's their problem.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Piratebay does not require a Farcebook account, so service will continue as normal. FB can go take a running jump, never used it and never will.

  31. Delbert

    A million new users- its just BS

    I'm likely to be on that list I do not, have not, will not use spottything I have no use for it and accounts elsewhere in fact I'm an admin at (shameless plug) but when I found an unknown and obviously unasked for button on farcebook (which is what it has become) I took a look and OMG I have a list of favourites ? of boy bands and pop wananbees which seem to have been trawled from the fetid stinking imagination of a troll in denial, interesting for a committed rock fan they'd put up bulls***t no doubt in and effort to goad me well they did I goed somewhere else. Funny thing though if they had assumed permissions(which farcebook seems to be giving away ) it is bloody obvious to all but a retard what I listen to.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spent a couple of happy hours this weekend...

    ... doing something I'd been meaning to do for a while. Writing some scripts to extract all my Spotify playlists, then deleting my Spotify account. I'll find those albums elsewhere, thanks.

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