ILike connects across OpenSocial, Facebook, iTunes — new music empire?

ilike.pngILike, a music discovery service, has launched a news feed that connects people and their music libraries with their favorite musicians across its web applications and desktop music players.

It has also expanded its offerings to help musicians reach fans on all of its services. ILike is targeting Myspace’s large network of musicians and fans, and is betting its news feed will prove a better way to reach music lovers.

This news comes as Facebook has begun launching its own music service, complete with specialized applications for musicians on Facebook.

The news feed shows a regularly updated list of your favorite artists’ new tunes and videos, their concert dates in your area, information on where you can buy tickets (Ticketmaster is an iLike investor), news articles and other information that keeps you connected to what they’re up to. The news feed shows a regularly updated list of your favorite artists’ new tunes and videos, their concert dates in your area, information on where you can buy tickets (Ticketmaster is an iLike investor), news articles and other information that keeps you connected to what they’re up to.

ILike is differentiating itself by connecting its many different properties. Its feed appears in its iTunes toolbar (and soon Windows Media Player) toolbars, in its Facebook application and will soon expand into social networks such as Bebo, Orkut and other sites that have joined Google’s OpenSocial developer platform.

A study by the company in September showed many popular bands had more iLike fans on Facebook than had friends on Myspace. ILike now has 709,437 daily active users on Facebook, seven percent of its over ten million total users, and now it claims that over 45 percent of artists can reach more fans on iLike than they can reach on Myspace.

Since May, iLike’s main application has offered musician profiles for over half a million artists. It lets you you to add clips from your favorite songs to your profile, play a music trivia game, and designate yourself a “fan” of musicians.

iLike has now pre-created 160,000 new advertising “Pages,” using the features that Facebook is launching today for brand advertisers, that include all of a musicians “fans” and other iLike information. These pages will also come pre-loaded with iLike’s musician applications, such as Concerts for posting about upcoming shows, Songs for putting full-length songs or clips on musicians’ pages, and iCast so musicians can send multimedia messages from a computer or phone to fans.

ILike is also offering a “Universal Artist Dashboard,” a place where musicians can control what information they send out in feeds. As iLike integrates with OpenSocial social networks like Bebo and Orkut, this dashboard’s reach will widen.
It uses information from users preferences on Facebook, iTunes and WMP and soon its OpenSocial social network partners to learn about which bands and songs fans like the most. Its toolbar not only recommends songs and other fans to you, it sees which songs you listen to the most — any song you listen to more than ten times gets counted as an iLike favorite.

ILike’s toolbars and applications already shows recommendations for related songs and users with similar tastes, but now it will show you a reverse-chronological feed of information about your favorite bands in your iLike feed — like Facebook’s news feed, but for information about music.

This is a big step up in what you can get out of the service. There’s already some cross-functionality between the sites. You can import your iTunes playlists to listen to within its Facebook application, for example. Ali Partovi, the company’s chief executive, sketched out main points of this plan when we interviewed him in late May.

The large music sites — Last.fm, Pandora, imeem and others — are taking the role of record labels by serving as the advertisers and distributors for musicians. ILike could break new ground in this market with its unique approach of stitching together a users’ listening habits and stated preferences on social networks.