Compare the music industry of the 90s to the music industry of today, and you’d be hard-pressed to find many similarities. Digital distribution turned it all on its head. But just in case iTunes, Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, and YouTube weren’t enough of an overhaul, another familiar name is set to launch its own music app. Brace yourself for Twitter Music.
Those ever-elusive “people familiar with the matter” tipped off AllThingsD about the imminent release of Twitter Music. Often these leaks come months in advance (and this one actually did too), but now Twitter Music is ready to go. It's set to launch this weekend, at the Coachella music festival.
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Just a suggestionTwitter’s first foray into music isn’t a standalone store, subscription service, or digital locker. It’s more of a discovery service. It uses your personal data (artists you follow, artists your friends like, etc.) to recommend music you might like. You can then listen to (or watch) samples in the app via partnerships with third-party services like iTunes, Soundcloud, and Vevo.
Twitter built the app using technology from the startup We Are Hunted, which it bought sometime in the last year. It too focused on music discovery, and was created by a small group of Australian developers in 2009.
If Twitter Music is a success, the company could potentially turn it into a store or subscription service ... but that’s pure speculation at this point. For now, the service is content to profit from making suggestions to its millions of users – without bothering with pesky trifles like record label deals and royalties.