Cat, meet pigeons. Twitter not only quietly acquired music discovery service We Are Hunted last year, according to several reports yesterday, but it’s preparing to release a standalone Twitter Music app on iOS that will stream songs from SoundCloud and videos from Vevo for music fans.
There are a lot of implications to process. Details first: although neither Twitter nor We Are Hunted have yet confirmed the reports. CNET broke the story, claiming that “Twitter Music suggests artists and songs to listen to based on a variety of signals, and is personalized based on which accounts a user follows on Twitter.”
The story claimed the app will have four main tabs: Suggested to recommend songs based on the artists and users you follow; #NowPlaying for songs tweeted by people you follow using that hashtag; Popular for trending tracks; and Emerging for up-and-coming artists.
More details come from All Things Digital, which claims iTunes clips will also be incorporated – Twitter and Apple have a close working relationship – with Vevo providing videos to plug the gaps in SoundCloud’s catalogue.
And now the implications. Twitter has been evolving into a media company for some time, and Twitter Music fits neatly into that strategy. There’s no speculation on an ad-sales strategy for the new app, but it seems logical that advertising will be part of the picture sooner rather than later.
How that fits with Vevo’s own advertising remains to be seen. Meanwhile, SoundCloud’s involvement would be a boost for that company, but may also increase industry chatter around its lack of per-stream payments to artists and rightsholders.
But one last note of caution from us about Twitter as a solo source for music discovery. If you’re on Twitter, how many of the people you follow share your music tastes? How many of your trusted music sources aren’t on Twitter?
We Are Hunted’s background makes us hope that Twitter Music won’t be entirely self-reflexive. With the reports claiming the app will be live on iOS (but not Android?) this month, we won’t have to wait long to find out.