April 21, 2021

Facebook and Spotify delve further into audio, unveil Project Boombox

Facebook and Spotify delve further into audio, unveil Project Boombox

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced plans to launch more audio products.

Due mid-year are Live Audio Rooms, where users can engage in real-time conversations with others, and Soundbites, who ch are short-form audio clips – such as jokes, anecdotes and poems, with tools on how to create them.

But expected to come out first is a feature with Spotify, with the working title Project Boombox.

The two have previously shared Spotify content on Facebook and Instagram Stories. But Project Boombox takes a deeper dive where the Facebook app will have a built-in Spotify player.

Its users who have Spotify in the background will no longer have the inconvenience of being redirected back to Spotify to change tracks, playlists or podcasts.

Artists will be able to more easily share their music content with the world’s largest social network.

Already tested quietly in Thailand and Mexico, Project Boombox is due to drop in major music markets including Australia as early as end of April.

Spotify creators and artists can more easily share their music and podcast content on the social network.

“Our ambition has always been to make Spotify ubiquitous across platforms and devices — bringing music and podcasts to more people — and our new integration with Facebook is another step in these efforts,” a Spotify spokesperson said in a statement.

The advantages for Spotify creators being able to reach more people are obvious globally and in Australia. Facebook boasts 2.7 billion monthly active users (MAUs) around the world compared to Spotify’s 345 million users and 155 million subscribers.

In Australia, Facebook’s tally is 16 million MAUs, and is the third highest trafficked site in the country after Google and YouTube.

Project Boombox is expected to have free and paid options.

“We think that audio is going to be a first-class medium and that there are all these different products to be built across this whole spectrum,” Zuckerberg said this week.

“Of course, it includes some areas that, that have been, you know, popular recently like podcasting and kind of live audio rooms like this, but I also think that there’s some interesting things that are under-explored in the area overall.”

“You already have these communities that are organized around interests, and allowing people to come together and have rooms where they can talk, I think it’ll be a very useful thing.”

Facebook is setting up an Audio Creator Fund to pay users to create content for SoundBites, and working on podcast features that will allow users to discover, share and listen to podcasts.