Commentary

Why Apple Needs Twitter More Than Twitter Needs Ping

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What if Apple opened Ping, its social network for music, to the social graph and allowed public information of its members to index through Twitter posts in search results on Google, Bing and Yahoo? The more than 1 million reported members who registered for Ping since the launch in September would become part of marketing efforts for both artists and labels, neither of which would spend one dime to promote the service or songs on the site.

Though it could likely increase sales and reignite interest in Apple's music social network, I'm pretty sure we're not quite there. And, I'm not suggesting the Apple iTunes Store can't hold its own when it comes to selling music, but music social network members seem to be losing interest. Not only will Twitter become a bigger competitor to YouTube in terms of recording labels and artists setting up shop to market their tunes, but if the whole scenario plays out similar to what's it my head, it could give Ping an entrance to Google TV through tweets and search queries.

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Discovering and searching for new music via Twitter will become a bigger focus for Apple. On Thursday Twitter released details about a deal with Ping that allows Apple's members in the music network to post links to songs and albums in their Twitter accounts. Finding a message in the Twitter stream lets users click on the tweet to see a box highlighting details about the song offered by iTunes, along with a button to preview the track. So, what if that tweet's indexed in Google, Bing and Yahoo real-time search results based on queries?

Kevin Thau, business and corporate development at Twitter, tells us in a blog post once you link the accounts, whenever you post, like, review, or tell friends the reason for the song or album purchase on Ping, this activity gets tweeted to Twitter followers, complete with playable song previews and links to purchase and download music from the iTunes Store.

Twitter isn't commenting on whether it gets a piece of the revenue from song sales or when the service will go live on mobile devices. I guess it's no secret now why Ryan Seacrest has spent so much time at Twitter headquarters lately.

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