There was tremendous amount of excitement earlier this year for the launch of Twitter’s new #music App, Twitter #Music. Have you read my past blog about this? If not, check it out here for a good introduction to Twitter #Music!
I can’t think of many people who I know of that actually used the much hyped Twitter #Music app. I never really got into it either. I think the main issue with it, was that it was REALLY confusing, and many users never really understood what it did and how to use it! Because of the underwhelming response the public has showed for Twitter #Music, sources say Twitter will be pulling the plug on it’s mobile app, which was once such a heavily anticipated app, that many industry experts felt that Twitter #Music would revolutionize how people find out about music. Some even predicted that because of Twitter’s existing popularity, that Twitter #Music might be one of the main ways people would discover new music.
Twitter #Music had been launched to a huge amount of fanfare in April of 2013, but still has never been able to live to the hype or the success of its predecessor, the main Twitter micro-blogging application. Twitter music was meant to be a standalone social media music app, which initially had a tremendous amounts of application downloads (on it’s launch week it was No. 6 on the Apple App store rankings for free apps) in its first few days. After the hype quickly started to settle, and all the celebrity buzz died out, users jumped ship, and Twitter Music’s popularity quickly began to plummet. Not only have the app downloads quickly died out, but user engagement has been extremely low. As of the end of August, app analytics and rating company Onavo, places Twitter #Music at 1,672nd place in their own rankings. Another app ranking system, AppAnnie, ranks it at #264 in iTunes’s among other music apps.
The Twitter Music App was built by a technology that was created by ‘We Are Hunted,” which is a small music discovery service from Australia that Twitter had purchased in April, to assist in developing a music service with Twitter. Prior to being acquired by Twitter, “We are Hunted” had developed a solid core and devoted following of die-hard music fans who used the music service to discover up and coming music artists from across the globe. When Twitter purchased We are Hunted, they moved the team to San Francisco, and incorporated it’s technology into Twitter’s forthcoming music app.
The combination of both Twitter’s existing technology and application, with We are Hunted, was meant to work very well together and essentially complement one another. But, it actually had an opposite effect. The Twitter #Music app ended up presenting two completely different sets of suggestions for its users. With one suggestion being a more mainstream and pop-oriented music format, and the other ended up being more cutting edge independent music suggestions for fans with very discriminate music tastes. The app suffered from not being fully integrated in Twitter’s main micro-blogging platform, which is the format that users like the most about Twitter. Just like I ended up doing, most twitter users ended up turning to the main twitter feed, instead of opening up two separate twitter apps, which seemed to be the only way one could access Twitter #Music.
Inside sources say that twitter has not publicly shutdown Twitter #Music. It appears that some effort is still in trying to turn it around. Twitter is trying to raise $1 Billion dollars from a public offering coming soon. Twitter hired Bob Moczydlowsky, who is the former Chief Executive of Topspin media (Topspin Media is a technology company that provides direct-to-consumer retail and marketing software for musicians, filmmakers, artists, authors, as well as other creative content makers). Bob is being brought in to head up Twittter’s music strategy. This spot has been vacant since former VP Kevin Thau departed Twitter, after Thau orchestrated the acquisition of We are Hunted. When Thau left Twitter, Twitter #Music ended up seeming like an idea that was looking like a half-baked concept. Because the main personnel behind the app had left Twitter, issues arose very rapidly with the overall integration into Twitter’s overall strategy, and Twitter music was left to a product division that hadn’t really overseen its development. The app was essentially developed in isolation within the company. It ended up being a “skunkworks” project led by Thau, and built by the team behind We Are Hunted. Twitter #Music was never fully integrated with the overall product team while the application was being built.
As Twitter reevaluates how to proceed further in the music world, they are more than likely to chase the popular cross platform strategy by partnering with some other music related companies and brands. Earlier this year, Twitter developed a partnership with Apple to display trending playlists for iTunes Radio. In addition, Twitter added their trending playlists to Rdio , which is another online music service that has been generating fantastic results among online music streaming users.