Didn't see this one coming. There's going to be another big player in the online music market - Twitter.
In a scoop from Cnet, the website says that after acquiring the music discovery service We Are Hunted last year Twitter is now going to put together an Apple iPhone and iPad iOS app called Twitter Music that enables users to find new music and see what their friends are listening to.
It could be available as soon as the end of the month.
According to Cnet it will work by...
'...suggesting artists and songs to listen to based on a variety of signals, and is personalised based on which accounts a user follows on Twitter. Songs are streamed to the app via SoundCloud.'
The move might be a little surprising but it makes a lot of sense for Twitter.
Firstly Facebook has dallying in the music streaming space via its clever alliance with Spotify. Twitter wants to evolve into a more mainstream media company more like Facebook, so adding music to its menu of services is an essential move.
Twitter also boasts accounts from a lot of high profile musicians many of whom have millions of followers too, and I imagine that their input will be incorporated into the app.
There's a lot more detail about how the service will work at the Cnet article, but to give you a brief picture the service works around four main tabs.
'Suggested' recommends songs and artists based on a user's follower graph -- artists they are following, and artists that other people they follow are following. #NowPlaying brings in links to songs tweeted by people you follow who tweet using that hashtag.
Popular' brings in songs trending on We are Hunted, and an 'Emerging' tab tracks up-and-coming artists.'
When the user taps on the file then they are taken to any music that is stored on SoundCloud, or to song previews from the iTunes store.
Personally I think that the weakness with the service is the Soundcloud/iTunes support. Twitter really should have opted for Spotify (in Europe) and maybe Pandora (in the US) both of which offer full streaming of tracks and have massive online catalogues.
What I can see this app doing is giving artists who use Twitter the chance to get closer to their followers.
However I am not sure how popular it will prove to be?
What do you think? Are you ready to find out about the people you follows music taste? Or do you find the 'now playing' streams on Facebook irritating and think Twitter Music could be just as annoying?