Twitter launches music app

By | Published on Friday 19 April 2013

Twitter #music

Twitter has launched its previously reported new music app, which is initially available for the iPhone or via the web at

Built on the back of existing music discovery app We Are Hunted, which the company purchased last year, the new service creates playlists based on various Twitter-based criteria, including what music is currently popular on the social networking platform, which new artists are beginning to gain popularity, which artists people (or, specifically, other artists) you follow are tweeting about via the #NowPlaying hashtag, and which artists it reckons you’ll like based on your previous Twitter activity.

Although launched with a barrage of hype after key celebs were given pre-launch access to the new tool, basically it’s a pretty standard music discovery app. Whether it’ll be of any use to you or not depends on how you like to discover new music. If you like to pick up recommendations on an ad-hoc basis from the people you trust, as and when they get excited about something new, then it’s probably best to avoid it. If music discovery for you is all about setting aside a set time to do your discovering, when you go through as many new tracks as you can bear in one sitting, then maybe this is for you. I suspect more people fall into the former camp though.

The app provides short previews of tipped tracks from iTunes, while Rdio and Spotify users can get full songs (where available) within the app. Services such as SoundCloud and YouTube, which more commonly host pre-release music, are not currently supported (despite expectations they would be), which means a certain amount of brand new music tweeted on the #NowPlaying tag will not be available to stream directly through the app (which was a problem mFlow, a previous attempted at a Twitter-meets-iTunes service, suffered from), though users will be able to return to Twitter and click on any SoundCloud/YouTube links as normal.

Presumably new content partners will follow in due course, which would enhance things, though for the time being – assuming iTunes previews aren’t really compelling to anyone – how good the service is depends very much on a user’s appetite for committed discovery time, and on how much you and the people you follow on Twitter use Spotify or Rdio. Though the ‘music discovery’ obsessed digital music industry will definitely watch future developments in the Twitter Music camp with interest.