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September 16, 2008 at 9:01 PM

iLike announces big move, to put free music all over the Web

After taking Facebook by storm, Seattle-based iLike is hoping to put its music services all over the Web with a new music platform for blogs and Web sites.

iLike’s announcing the platform at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York on Wednesday.

The platform is intended to offer simple ways for Web developers to add interactive music components to their sites.

It offers an embeddable widget that lets site visitors create and edit playlists, without having to leave the host site and register at iLike. Visitors can cooperatively build a playlist of songs for a wedding, for instance, or create their own soundtrack for a movie.

One of the launch partners, Evite, will use the tool to add a group-editable song list to invitations, “and it will take them only about 10 lines of code, because that’s an interactive building block we’ve built for them,” iLike President Hadi Partovi said via email.

Partovi said he was amazed by how quickly iLike was able to get top Web developers onboard as launch partners – the company sent out a few emails with links to documentation and code samples, and two weeks later they were signed up.

Launch partners include Evite and Typepad and Facebook application developers Flixster, Slide, SGN, Watercooler, ConnectedWeddings and MesmoTV.

It’s a big move that could give the 29-person startup more visibility and prominence as online music services face new competition from the upcoming MySpace Music, although iLike’s aiming its platform at Web developers more than consumers.

Among the quotes included in iLike’s announcement release was one from David Glazer, Google engineering director:

“We’re excited to see iLike’s developer platform bringing more music to the open web, making it easier for developers to build richer applications for more users. iLike’s choice of a simple Javascript interface makes it easy for all web developers, including OpenSocial developers, to adopt. And the iLike application for Blogger will give users more ways to express themselves on their blogs, which is why we love the open web – interoperability and mashups let users choose what makes the most sense for them.”

Embeddable iLike playlists include free, full-track plays of music, building on iLike’s relationship with RealNetworks announced in June. Under their arrangement, Rhapsody pays royalties to artists and labels when the tracks are played via iLike.

Since it launched two years ago, iLike’s services have drawn more than 30 million registered users. It makes money largey through commissions on music, ringtones and tickets its users buy via iLike. Ticketmaster invested $13 million in the company in 2006.

A few screenshots, the first showing a sample Evite and the second a demonstration site:





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