#Music to Twitter’s ears

by Tom Ollerton in News

Today, Twitter launched its new #Music app, which recommends tracks to music fans based on the artists they follow on the platform.

#Music can be accessed online or as an iPhone app, available for download from the App Store. Currently, the service is only available in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

The app is broken down into four different areas. The ‘Suggested’ tab shows artists you might like based on those that you follow, and who they themselves follow. #NowPlaying shows you songs your friends are listening to, or talking about.

Then there’s ‘Popular’, which shows you new music that’s trending across Twitter, and finally (and arguably the most exciting) the ‘Emerging’ tab shows “hidden talent found in tweets”, using an algorithm to dig out music that’s not currently well known to the listener – kind of a sneak preview of a song before it starts trending.

Musicians represent a large proportion of the top Twitter accounts, so this app makes strategic sense. It’s also visually appealing and looks polished – actually more reminiscent of something like Pinterest than the navigation we’re used to with Twitter.

It also runs pretty smoothly – Twitter has integrated current music services like Rdio, Spotify and iTunes so you can play songs through the app or webpage. You’ll only hear a preview with iTunes – but Spotify and Rdio users will hear the full track.

Of course, the industry has immediately been asking about the commercial benefit #Music might have for Twitter. While there will be monetising opportunities from record labels, song sponsorship and brands heavily associated with music, the app currently seems more focused on enabling Twitter to lead a trend conversation. And this is really the foundation that the platform is built on, so it’s encouraging to see that it still has an eye on innovation.

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