After weeks of taunting us with hints that Twitter #music is going to arrive, the new site has finally pulled into the station.
So far, it looks like a giant grid, displaying music trending on Twitter with the option to play a preview of the track, buy it on iTunes, or tweet about it. If you’re logged in to your Spotify or Rdio account, you’ll be able to listen to the full-length songs, as long as you have the paid subscriptions.
It’s important to note that Canadians taking advantage of the six months of free music from Rdio don’t seem to be able to transfer this free plan to #music, which will likely mean that those users will stick with using Rdio straight-up until they purchase a plan or until #music honours this free one.
Continuing on with this topic, Spotify isn’t even available in Canada!
Let’s go back to the positive side. If #music takes off, this could be awesome exposure for artists in the “Emerging” category, which gathers information about relatively unknown acts still being tweeted about.
For a brief look into how #music works, here’s Matt Peckham’s report from TIME.com:
“Twitter #music’s raison d’être, says the company, is to help us find trending music as well as music related to the groups we follow. It does this by collating activity on Twitter to “detect and surface the most popular tracks and emerging artists” (“popular” being the operative word — this isn’t where you’ll go to unearth likable local acts, say, or obscure indie gems).
Potentially cool: You’ll be able to play songs without exiting Twitter. The company says it’s sourcing three popular digital music services to handle music playback at launch: iTunes, Spotify and Rdio. The default player will be iTunes, with no login required, while Rdio and Spotify subscribers will have to log in to their accounts to hear songs streamed from either service. Twitter says it “will continue to explore and add other music service providers.”
One of the more intriguing features is the #NowPlaying category, which only shows you music that the people you follow on Twitter have tweeted about using the hashtag #NowPlaying. This will obviously increase the use of this hashtag and will give song recommendations a little extra time on the radar – instead of disappearing in the great abyss of a Twitter news feed.
Overall, we’re interested in how quickly, and to what extent, the service will be adopted. So far, the response has been relatively positive, except for predictable frustrations about needing to subscribe to Spotify or Rdio to truly participate in #music.