Facebook Japan has launched a music streaming function, Music Stories, on the Japanese version of its social networking platform.
“The function was announced in the U.S. in November last year. Music streaming services AWA and D Hits have cooperated with us to make it available in Japan,” Facebook Japan spokesman Naoto Yokoyama told a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Yokoyama said the company is in talks with other services, too, and that Apple Music is likely to participate in the future.
The function allows Facebook users to post and share music distributed by music streaming services on their Facebook timeline, where it can then be shared and commented on and other users can listen to 30-second samples.
Music can be shared via Facebook from AWA and D Hits as well as KKBOX by clicking the “share” button on the screen.
Many regard 2015 as the year music streaming began in Japan, with the launches of Apple Music, Google Play Music, Amazon Prime Music, Line Music and AWA.
Many of the services initially enticed users with free trial periods, and the Line Music app was downloaded 8 million times in the first eight weeks.
However, the companies had difficulty getting users to upgrade from free trials to premium accounts requiring monthly payments.
A survey in April by Mobile Marketing Data Labo showed that 57.8 percent of 703 music streaming service users were in their free trial period, according to tech website Engadget.
“We have about 30 million songs available for unlimited listening for ¥960 per month, but the users know that they can’t listen to all of them. They usually listen to 10 or 20 songs and decide to quit the service,” said AWA director Tetsutaro Ono.
“Our strength is having the users create their own playlists,” he added. “We have about 150 thousand playlists shared on social networking services.”
The Music Stories function would be an opportunity for non-AWA users to listen to such playlists directly on Facebook and get a feel for the service, he said.