The idea of social networks as a place to listen to and share music is one that MySpace (NSDQ: NWS) should have owned. But its gradual decline has left the field open for others to take up the opportunity. The European social network Netlog is partnering with the music streaming site we7 to launch a new music streaming service on the platform, which this week opens for business in Belgium. That gives Netlog the jump on Facebook, which is said to also be prepping its own social music service, with partners including Spotify.
The Netlog/we7 deal comes two weeks into we7′s debut in the Belgian market, and will be a key route to helping we7 build up an audience in the country among the lucrative 13-25 year-old demographic. Netlog does not break out how many subscribers it has in Belgium alone but notes that it ha 5.5 million users across Belgium, the UK and Ireland, out of a total customer base of 79 million.
We7, which counts the musician Peter Gabriel among its founders and investors, features some seven million tracks, which Netlog users will be able to access via a widget. This will also let users share music, and create personal stations based around a specific artist, genre of music or a requested track. Mobile access, says a spokesperson, is still being considered.
For Belgium, We7 has also signed streaming deals with all four major record labels, as well as a few local labels that include PIAS, N.E.W.S. and Black Hole Records.
Like other streamed music services, we7 offers users the option of a free, ad-funded service; or monthly paid subscriptions at £4.99 and £9.99 tiers.