Tag Archive: Rdio


How to Use Twitter #Music

Twitter's new music app / Twitpic

Twitter‘s new music app / Twitpic

The micro-news behemoth has jumped into the music game. So, what’s in it for you?

Today, Twitter finally rolled out its new music app, which is called Twitter #music. The company’s ambitions are predictably grand, calling the app “a new service that will change the way people find music, based on Twitter.” As a streaming songs and discovery service, they are entering a crowded and growing field, one that leaves users with various similar options. Let’s try and figure out how Twitter #music differentiates itself.

How does Twitter #music work?

Twitter #music has five tabs for exploration: “Popular,” which collects music that is trending on Twitter; “Emerging,” which promises “hidden talent found in the tweets”; “Suggested,” which uses an algorithm to offer music it thinks you might be into; “#NowPlaying,” which displays music currently tweeted by people you follow, using that hashtag; and “Me,” which simply displays music by artists you follow. Clicking on a tile will play an artist’s song, and offer you more music to listen to, either by that specific artist or other similar artists.

Where can I get Twitter #music?

Twitter music is currently available on iPhones via the App Store, and mobile is where Twitter is really hoping their music service explodes. But there is also a web-based app, available atmusic.twitter.com. Twitter says that an Android app will be rolled out soon.

How is Twitter #music different than something like Spotify?

Twitter is smartly trying to put the information it collects from its massive database of 200 million users to work, and for that reason Twitter #music is more discovery-based than Spotify or Rdio. Twitter wants you to click around its app and discover new artists and songs — be it a song so popular you feel stupid for not knowing it, or an artist you’ve never heard of — which will allow it to hone its suggestions to you and users like you. It wants you to get lost in the app even if you weren’t searching for anything specific.

Is Twitter #music in competition with other services?

Listen to new song from Black Sabbath here: http://go.spin.com/10lLOF8

Not yet, at least. Twitter #music plays previews of songs via iTunes as its default setting, but Spotify or Rdio users can link with Twitter #music to hear full tracks through those services in the Twitter #music app.

Will Twitter #music actually help me discover new music?

That depends. It’s a service that is primarily geared to the casual listener, so music nerds may find less worth in it. It suggests artists like Fabolous, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill — major rap stars who have likely been heard by anyone with an interest in rap music — but also artists like Kilo Kish, Kano, and Little Dragon, who are not exactly underground, but at least a bit more unknown. Absolutely voracious music fans will probably still find themselves plumbing the depths of something like Spotify.

Which of Twitter #music’s features holds the most potential?

Either the “Suggested” or “Emerging” tabs, which do the most to expose users to artists or songs they may not have heard. Both have their biases — “Suggested” could go much deeper than it does, while “Emerging” currently offers mostly white people with guitars, even ones like the Appleseed Cast and the Pastels, who have long since “emerged” from wherever they came.

What’s wrong with the other features?

Well, the “Popular” tab barely varies from something like the popular charts on iTunes or Spotify, though acts such as Azealia Banks, Robin Thicke, and Little Mix manage to slip in amongst the usual suspects Pitbull and Taylor Swift. Otherwise, Twitter #music is highly dependent on active engagement with musicians on Twitter by you and the people you follow. If you only follow 20 musicians on Twitter or don’t have friends that actively tweet about what they’re listening to, the “#NowPlaying” and “Me” tabs will be very limited.

If I follow a musician on Twitter, why do I need an app to discover their music?

This is probably the most obvious piece of evidence that reveals Twitter #music as an app for Twitter users that aren’t voracious music listeners. If you follow a musician on Twitter and keep up with their work, or are aware of artists similar to those you follow on Twitter, than the app will hold less appeal to you than to others.

Does Twitter #music have potential?

Sure. If musicians begin to release music consistently via tweets, the “Me” tab could become a useful clearinghouse for new music you want to check for. The “Popular” tab also does attempt to quantify exactly which artists are the most popular on Twitter, which beforehand was a process that was decidedly more arduous. Also, as more people use Twitter #music, the app’s algorithms will improve.

written by Jordan Sargent. 

 

Justin Timberlake Proves Streaming Isn't A Death Sentence For Music Sales

Do music subscription services threaten music sales? Not if you ask Justin Timberlake.

John Paul Titlow for readwrite.com wrote that the rise of all-you-can-stream services like Spotify have made some artists nervous about the model’s potential impact on music sales. It’s why bands like Coldplay have delayed the arrival of new albums on Spotify and others, like the Beatles and AC/DC, are holding out all together. Logically, it makes sense: If you make your music available to stream for free, people are less likely to buy it.

Right? Not always. Read more here: http://bit.ly/11gJpZA

Ahead of its release on March 19, Justin Timberlake’s new albumThe 20/20 Experience was streaming in its entirety not just on Spotify and Rdio, but at the iTunes store itself. Anybody who wanted to could quickly and legally access the album for a week. Then it was released. And it became the most pre-ordered album in iTunes history, surging past his record label’s sales expectations by 63%.

It’s good news not just for Timberlake himself, but for the music subscription model that he plans to embrace when MySpace — of which he is part owner — launches its own service later this year.  MySpace will join GoogleAmazon, Beats and God knows who else in entering the digital music subscription market in 2013.

Timberlake’s experience would seem to debunk the thesis that streaming can’t support artists and thus isn’t in their best interests. Indeed, his success will likely make him a poster child for the music subscription revolution as the industry marches toward a future in which music is rented more than it’s owned.

But hold on a second. For one thing, we’re not all Justin Timberlake. The pop megastar released his first solo album over a decade ago, after years of global success as a member of a massively popular boy band. In the same way that Radiohead’s 2007 experiment in “pay-what-you-want” record sales didn’t create a new model that worked for everybody, artists can’t necessarily look to Timberlake for cues about where their careers might be headed.

What The 20/20 Experience launch does show is that subscription services, while not ready to replace paid downloads as a revenue stream for the industry, can be a critical tool for marketing and ultimately driving sales. In time, the revenue available to streaming services may reach more sustainable levels. In the meantime, it’s nice to know the artists who embrace them aren’t shooting themselves in the foot by doing so.

Streaming may have promise, but it’s no silver bullet. The music market’s digital future is going to be a hybrid of approaches, some of which will work better than others in particular circumstances. Timberlake’s success is interesting — meaningful, even — but the way forward still isn’t a simple one.

Photo via Flickr user Edward Kustoff, CC 2.0

 

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