Twitter to release music app as early as this weekend

After Twitter's acquisition of music discovery service We Are Hunted became public, rumors began to circulate about a Twitter music app launching at the Coachella music festival this weekend.

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    The Twitter Music website is up, though it is not granting access to users as of noon on Friday. Twitter will launch a music app at some point in the future using technology from We Are Hunted, a music discovery service Twitter acquired.
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Imagine listening to music based on who you follow on Twitter, from your friends to Matt & Kim to Stephen Colbert, all in one sitting.

There may just be an app for that, brought to you by Twitter. And reports suggest that the service could go live as early as this weekend.

Reports from AllThingsD say that Twitter will launch the music app this weekend at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif. This development surfaced less than a day after We Are Hunted, a music discovery service, announced that it was acquired by Twitter. 

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The We Are Hunted team did not offer other details, except that it will shut down its website and that the staff will join Twitter. However, there is a Twitter music website up. Users discovered the music website Friday, although the website is not granting access to log-in requests as of 1 p.m. on Friday.

Twitter officials are not commenting on the matter, but they are pointing to the announcement made by We Are Hunted.

We Are Hunted, a 5-year-old company based in San Fancisco, used proprietary search technology to search the Internet for the latest music worldwide. It measured the popularity based on music charts, blogs, and social media accounts, and its recommendations spanned multiple genres.

CNET, which initially reported on a Twitter music app in mid-March, says that Twitter's music app will give personalized recommendations based on artists and other people a Twitter user is following. But people do not have to be on Twitter to sign up for the music app. CNET also reported in March that the music app will include Twitter branding, unlike Twitter’s video-sharing app Vine.

Stephanie Kellar, assistant professor of music business at Berklee College of Music, says she would not be surprised if Twitter uses its own data for personalized recommendations.

"All of the social sites have got to monetize their offer, and they are all searching for ways to do that," she says. "Somewhere in the mix there is going to be some advertising and sponsorships and certainly data mining of their site … there's a lot of clutter, but I think it's an interesting development."

While it is too early to tell how artists and music marketing will fare, Ms. Kellar says, she expects to see Twitter keep the social aspect of social media, which online platforms and even some artists have failed to do.

“You can push that commerce relationship, but they’ve opened those channels so that they’ll be able to push that information,” she says. “Hopefully it’s going to mean sales for artists, or for the publisher.”

For now, the buzz is on if and when the announcement will be made. Speculation started circulating after radio star Ryan Seacrest tweeted about testing the Twitter Music service Thursday: “playing with @twitter’s new music app (yes it’s real!) … there’s a serious dance party happening at idol right now.”

It wasn’t until Mr. Seacrest’s comment that We Are Hunted made its official announcement on its site and tweeted about it.

For more tech news, follow Steph on Twitter: @stephmsolis

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