Xbox Music Needs Facebook Integration

Welcome-to-the-social_medium

Ask ten average Janes/ Joes if they know what Xbox Music is and you'll be lucky if you get any response other than a confused, vague, questiony reply like, "Do you mean videogames?"

Why does Xbox Music need social integration? Well, because nobody knows about the service and because a lot of what makes music awesome is the ability to discover and share it. Today, an Xbox Music user's collection is as socially isolated as the dusty stack of CDs that happened to find a spot on your DVD shelf years ago. Don't bother mentioning the Smart DJ feature. Music discovery with that is mediocre at best.

If Microsoft is going to compete with Spotify and charge $9.99 for a premium music service without social integration, they're trying to sell a product with less value for the same price. Not to mention, Spotify has a long list of music discovery apps and a larger library with unique content (e.g. recorded live session, artist interviews). Remember when our old friend, Zune, came along? "Social" was a priority then. Where did it go?

In short, integrating with Facebook would:

  • Leverage Facebook's user-base
  • Facilitate music discovery
  • Allow sharing which also facilitates music discovery but goes further by connecting users to dialogues about music with people they know and care about
  • Put the Xbox Music brand "out there," further establishing Microsoft's "Xbox is complete entertainment" message.

For those who might ask, "Why Facebook, specifically?" For starters, Microsoft already has a decent relationship with Facebook given the social network's integration with Bing and commitment to making a dedicated app for Windows Phone.

Socl might be a cute Microsoftian experiment but at the end of the day, it'll probably be nothing more than a lab rat. I could be wrong but considering how hard Myspace is trying to make a come-back, inventing a social network in 2013 seems futile.

And finally, those who might consider Google Plus... Let's be serious. Microsoft and the big G haven't been playing nice at the playground for a while now.