Last week Twitter let the cat was out of the bag when they launched music.twitter.com. Look out Pandora, there’s a new competitor in the music streaming market. The sight went live, users could click ‘sign-in’ and that was it. There was a window requesting app permissions but music fans weren’t going any farther than the landing page. Twitter was just teasing us, we would all have to wait.
After marinating all weekend – and almost forgetting about it during the week – Twitter went on Good Morning America this morning to officially announce the release of their new app. Coming to a webpage or iPhone near you (sorry Android users, maybe later) the Twitter Music app syncs with your Spotify or Rdio accounts and pull from their catalogs.
Users have a choice of five tabs to play music. Think of each tab as a level of trust. The Popular tab showcases who is trending on Twitter at that moment (the Biebs, Lady Gaga, Mumford and Sons, etc.) and is largest gamble because you’re at the mercy of the entire Twitterverse. The Emerging tab is where the technology from We Are Hunted thrives. It brings out new artists that are gaining social buzz even if the mainstream hasn’t caught up yet.
The Suggested tab presents artists that users might like based on musicians your already follow (Do you follow Luke Bryan on Twitter? Try listening to some Casey James.) and the #NowPlaying tab shows what the people you follow are listening to. Tread lightly with the #NowPlaying tab if you and your friends have opposite tastes in music. Finally there’s the Me tab, which plays artists you specifically follow. Zero percent gamble, 100 percent control.
Even if you hate Twitter and hate music and hate fun, the launch of this app makes for an interesting product case study. TechCrunch pointed out that Twitter is going straight for the jugular of the mainstream crowd instead of slowly siphoning the product out to early adopters. Yes, Ryan Seacrest and Wiz Khalifa got to play with the app before the rest of the kids, but other than a few celebrities and media outlets, everyone is getting their hands on it at the same time.
Furthermore, the media outlets that Twitter is targeting aren’t the usual suspects of niche tech blogs. They officially announced their app on Good Morning America this morning, which has an average viewership of five million. They want America using this app, not just geeks and start-up guys out in LA. There’s no invite system like when Google Glass and Pinterest launched so users don’t need any clout or pull to use it. Rather than making the app exclusive and teasing it to build suspense, they’re just putting it out into the world for Twitter’s 200 Million active users.
— Twitter Music (@TwitterMusic) April 18, 2013
Ironically, the most tech-y announcement the social network has done throughout its app launch was a blog post that went live early this morning. The post was written by We Are Hunted founder Stephen Philips who broke the metaphorical bottle of champagne on the yacht of Twitter #music:
Many of the most-followed accounts on Twitter are musicians, and half of all users follow at least one musician. This is why artists turn to Twitter first to connect with their fans — and why we wanted to find a way to surface songs people are tweeting about.
So far, Twitter is letting its product speak for itself by letting people play with it and decide if it’s quality. There may be ads farther down the line, but right now they’re just rolling in positive PR and word of mouth. Have you had a chance to play with it yet?