Myspace now has a new, more potent competitor as Facebook joins the music foray and tries to attract unsigned and signed bands to its social networking website.
Facebook has debut a section dedicated to music groups and has inked agreements with Apple's iTunes and Music Today.
The deal means that Facebook will act as an affiliate and will receive a cut of items sold through this system : tickets, ringtones, albums and tracks as well as merchandise and others.
Facebook Music will also allow bands and musicians to market themselves to their audiences on Facebook through dedicated artist or group homepages complete with streamed videos and music tracks.
Dozens of artists including Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake have already signed to the service which also benefits from free Advanced Music Applications that includes a Flash Player; a Music Player; a Discography tool and a Music Shop.
All of Facebook's idiosyncrasies will remain - you should be able to poke your favourite artists, write on their wall and send them virtual vampires as well as receive regular mailings and updates from them (or someone posing as them).
Updated on 4th March 2008
Malorie Lucich, PR representative from Facebook, sent us that little clarification.
Facebook did not launch any new music products this week, nor did it partner with iTunes.
Some Facebook applications from third parties do allow artists to link to digital music stores from their Facebook Pages, but using those applications is at the sole discretion of the artists.
A week ago, Facebook created informational pages called “Music on Facebook” and “Film on Facebook” as guides and resources for musicians, bands and filmmakers wanting to create their own Facebook Pages.
The ability for musicians, bands and filmmakers to create Facebook Pages has been available since the launch of the Facebook Pages product on Nov. 6.
We have sent a few questions to Malorie and will update the page accordingly.