By focusing on problem selection, rather than rushing out an innovation no one wants like so many trigger-happy entrepreneurs, Parker put himself in position for the string of blockbusters that his critics blithely attribute to sequential luck. Napster was the transition between CDs and MP3s after the Internet made it possible to strip content from its container. Facebook was a vehicle to create a reliable identity in an anonymous online world. Spotify is an attempt to fix the very music industry that Napster helped break a decade before.
The effort could pay off in a big way if Facebook succeeds in devising features that would allow its members to pay for access to third-party music services using its online currency, Credits, said David Kirkpatrick, the author of “The Facebook Effect.”
“Music could be a gold mine, just like games have been a gold mine,” Mr. Kirkpatrick said.
Reports of Facebook’s talks with Spotify have surfaced repeatedly on technology blogs, leading to speculation that Facebook would work with the service to create a music channel. But people with knowledge of Facebook’s strategy say the company never wanted to tie itself to a single music service, preferring instead to work with multiple partners.