Twitter is jumping on the #bandwagon with the launch of a new music sharing platform of the social media site, recently confirming their acquisition of an Aussie-born music website to help launch their answer to the growing demand of music streaming and sharing.
A new website has emerged online as Twitter reportedly quietly launched their new app over the weekend, but as Billboard reports, the new music service is exclusively an ‘invite only’ membership – for the time being.
The Verge has suggested that Twitter is aiming for a trending launch, building interest through exclusivity; peaking interest by recruiting a few celebrities to trial and tweet about the application.
Some of the famous faces who’ve been trialing the new feature include rapper Wiz Khalifa and, as previously reported, American Idol host, Ryan Seacrest.
Wiz Khalifa tweeted to his nearly 10 million followers:
While the American Idol host confirmed the app’s existence by writing:
Before noting his enthusiasm for British folk-punk singer-songwriter, Frank Turner:
Another ‘key influencer’ who has been tweeting about the Twitter Music launch is Stephen Phillips, co-founder of website We Are Hunted – the music aggregate website that Twitter recently confirmed they had purchased to help launch its new music sharing and discovery platform.
Twitter’s move into music was confirmed after they bought out the website, which was started by a group of Australian programmers in 2009, before growing from its California baste to reach as many as one million users a month in June last year.
The site generates a music chart by monitoring popular songs across blogs, social media, message boards, and BitTorrent, from which users could then stream songs, compile playlists, and share content to their own social media pages. As part of the Twitter buy-out, the We Are Hunted servers were shut down, along with the million or so user profiles associated with the site.
We Are Hunted co-founder Phillips wrote a note on their website about the merger, saying:
There’s no question that Twitter and music go well together. Artists turn to Twitter first to connect with fans, and people share and discover new songs and albums every day. We can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on at Twitter.” The website will shut down, but hopefully what they’ve been working on will be worth it.”
Reports reveal that Twitter Music will take take the form of w iOS app that uses We Are Hunted’s experience and resources to develop a music discovery program.
Big Pond News adds that music – which will be streamed from Soundcloud – may be ranked and suggested depending on “personalised trends and trigger points, including what Twitter accounts are followed.” While All Things D report that users may be able to watch videos directly as well, streamed through Vevo, which is owned by Universal Music and Sony.
As Billboard have commented, Twitter is well-placed to delve into music sharing. It has the key feature that leads to success in these kinds of ventures: “an active and engaged community.” The other main element is organisation and curation of the app, presumably that’s where We Are Hunted come in with their experience in this are, as Twitter Music is opened up to the public in the coming weeks. #excited Twitter is aiming for a trending launch, building interest through exclusivity; peaking interest by recruiting a few celebrities to trial and tweet about the app.
In the face of music providers like Spotify, Deezer, Pandora, and Rdio, Twitter isn’t the only internet giant that’s moving into the music sector.
With the makeover of their Google Play store, Google has recently launched their online storage and digital download store, Google Music, in Australia, allowing users to stream music from their Android devices and PCs. Meanwhile online retailer Amazon are also eyeing off a subscription-based music service, looking to complement their online store and have allegedly entered into negotiations with record companies concerning a possible launch of its own music sharing site.
Apple is also finalising negotiations with major labels Warner and Universal for its free music streaming service for iTunes, although there are rumours that Sony is yet to confirm the deal. Then there’s ‘Daisy’, the working title of the music streaming service spawned from the company Beats By Dre, with Trent Reznor as the Chief Creative Officer. This service is expected to be up and running by late 2013, after a healthy cash injection of $60 Million from James Packer and investors.
There’s no faulting the growing cultural impact and importance of music streaming services, shown both by the number of big companies looking to enter the market and the most recent industry reports.
The IFPI’s Digital Music Report showed subscription services experienced a 44% rise, with 20 million paying subscribers worldwide expecting to help account for 10% of digital music revenues, while the RIAA’s own recent report demonstrates the same services – which it labels ‘access models’ – accounted for over $1 billion in music sales in 2012 and a 15% share.
Also in America, a recent survey from the NPD Group shows that streaming services are as popular as radio now among those aged under 35, with 23% of those surveyed using services like Spotify, iHeartRadio, and especially Pandora (with a nearly 40% share), almost as much as traditional radio at 24%.