Twitter gets into the music discovery game with #Music

Twitter has launched its new music service in New Zealand (and some other non-consequential countries), called Twitter #Music. Unlike Google Music or iTunes, #Music is right now purely a music discovery tool – helping users find new and popular artists using its millions-strong network.

There are currently two ways of accessing #Music; through an iOS app and at music.twitter.com.

Users for both mediums are presented with an image-centric catalogue of popular and emerging artists and songs. Instead of the number of radio plays or track sales determining chart position, Twitter’s system is controlled by the all mighty power of trending topics. Music that’s getting a lot of buzz on Twitter makes it to the top. Currently Psy’s Gentleman is numero uno.

Tapping on the images plays a preview track and gives more information about the artist. There’s an option to follow the artist and share the song to your Twitter followers. The #nowplaying tab recommends music to you by the artists and people you follow. The whole experience is a self-feeding machine. As you follow artists
and share songs, it gains popularity which opens it up to more people to
follow artists and share songs, so on and so forth.

The previews are powered by iTunes (which can be used to purchase the track), or you can live stream it in your Rdio or Spotify app (you’ll need these installed on your desktop or phone for it to work).

Hats off to Twitter for including New Zealand artists in the mix straight out of the gate, although I’m guessing the kudos for that should actually go to iTunes which already has a large catalogue of Kiwi artists.

There’s no Android version of #Music yet and no word of when there might be one. Considering the track previews are powered by Apple’s iTunes (a Google Music competitor) there’s bound to be a minefield of negotiation issues in porting it to Google’s operating system.

The potential for #Music is huge, with a revenue sharing model with iTunes, Rdio and Spotify likely in the background. Combined with the keyword advertising the microblogging service announced yesterday, it would seem Twitter could become the place to discover (and be sold) music.

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