The service will include previews from iTunes and offer subscriptions to Spotify and Rdio, which stream full-length tracks.
Other subscription services are interested in partnering with Twitter as well, The Los Angeles Times reported, quoting an industry observer who asked to remain anonymous.
Although the networking site bypassed the major record companies, they could benefit, nonetheless, through increased sales. Independent artists could also get more exposure, much as they have on YouTube, which has spawned several music stars, most famously Justin Bieber.
Here’s How Twitter’s New Service Works
- For songs tweeted by artists and people you follow on Twitter, navigate to #NowPlaying to view and listen to those songs.
- If you want to learn more about a band, tap their avatar to see their top song, follow them right from the chart, or tap their Twitter username to go to their profile.
- If you want to listen to music of artists followed by other artists, you can search for the artist by name. Then tap one of the artists you’re interested in and hit the play button, or press play on the player to listen to all the artists.
- To share with your followers, tap the spinning disc in the lower left corner of the app. This opens the player. Tweet from there using the Tweet icon in the top right corner.
Twitter decided to move forward after testing with, and getting a thumb’s up from, music industry figures like Ryan Seacrest, Blake Shelton, Ne-Yo and Moby, the company said.
The free service, called Twitter #Music, launched today (Apr. 18). You can check it out here.
iPhone apps are available in the United States, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, and an Android app under development, the company said.
Twitter will make money by selling adjoining advertising. It expects to gross $583 million this year, compared with $283 million last year. The company is privately held and does not disclose its finances.
For the moment, Twitter will only offer samplings of tracks. But it could feature full-length songs sometime in the future. For now, users will have to go to a streaming site to hear the full song.
“So the fans that follow these artists will enjoy sharing the snippets of tracks that Justin Bieber recommends to his followers on Twitter, rather than popping on to Vevo to check out his latest videos,” Enders said in an email interview.
Twitter users could also find themselves widening their circle of connections as they find other people with similar music tastes.