Why Care About Bitcoin, When Twitter Is (Supposedly) Launching a Music App?

The major theme for me this week -- for reasons I don’t fully understand -- has been trying to avoid stories about Bitcoin, a phenomenon that reached its apex when I found out yesterday (because of a picture, not because I actually read anything) that the Winklevii were somehow involved.

Some weeks in this weirdo, social-media-Internet-o-sphere are like that, when the information overload just becomes too much, and you find your mind self-editing what is before your eyes for reasons that are way too embedded in your subconscious for you to completely understand.

In fact, the only social media headline that truly interested me this week is one that I saw this morning. The only problem is that it’s so highly speculative that I probably shouldn’t center a column around it. But I am anyway, so there.

Here’s the not-quite-yet news: That Twitter is going to launch a music app, as early as today. The reason I’m so taken with this undeveloped development is that it could represent the closest, most official relationship between content and Twitter that has ever existed, and then, watch out..



At this writing, here’s what we know:

1.     That Twitter bought music service WeAreHunted, which started in Brisbane, when no one was looking, like maybe last year.

2.     The service focused on what music was being shared most in social.

3.     The service has shut down so that the We Are Hunteds could devote their time to building a Twitter music app.

4.     Ryan Seacrest has tweeted that he’s using it.

5.     Coachella is this weekend.

Here’s what we don’t know for sure:

1.     That the Twitter music app will be launched at Coachella.

2.     That it will be a stand-alone service.

3.     That its initial launch will be on Apple’s iOS.

4.     That it will feature music from SoundCloud and video from Vevo.

5.     That Myspace investor Justin Timberlake is really pissed off about it. (OK, I made that one up.)

When you think about what we already know about content, real-time and Twitter, this could be extraordinarily powerful. A few weeks ago, I wrote about Nielsen and SocialGuide’s discovery that there’s a direct correlation between Twitter and TV ratings. Now, apply that cause/effect relationship to a music service owned by Twitter, which will probably be rapidly adopted by Twitter’s user base. It’s going to serve to amplify -- pun intended -- what music is popular, while also morphing what becomes popular. If you don’t think that’s true, just remember that even as the TV universe has fragmented, ratings for most live events have held steady -- if not grown – with much of the phenomenon being attributed to the word-of-mouth provided by social.

On its surface, this music app looks like it will be an ongoing real-time Billboard chart. Um, wow.

I should probably shut up now before my speculation gets any more out there, but before I close, I’ll circle back to something I said earlier: that this could be the closest relationship between Twitter and content that has come so far.

Think about it. Most of Twitter’s official relationships with content are ad hoc, when shows or movies buy advertising, like Promoted Trends. And then there’s the huge organic relationship between Twitter and content, which happens whenever people en masse tweet as they watch.

Now, apply that to music: powerful. That’s all I’m sayin’ for now.

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