With music app, can Twitter become key venue for discovering songs?

The social forum Twitter already has a lot of musical discussion going on. Now, an application within Twitter may help people explore up-and-coming bands, and learn which ones match their preferences.

Matt Sayles/Invision/AP
Ryan Seacrest attends the "American Idol" premiere event at Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA, Jan. 9, 2013, in Los Angeles. Seacrest says he loves Twitter's new music app.

The social network Twitter sees a ripe business opportunity in helping people learn about new music and share it online.

In fact, there’s now a Twitter app for that.

So far, it’s a trial version being used by a privileged few. But because of Twitter’s vast reach, this news is something that has big potential implications for the music industry.

“[I’m] lovin the app...shows what artists are trending, also has up and coming artists,” tweeted Ryan Seacrest, the American Idol host who also happens to have more than 9 million Twitter followers. In a previous tweet Thursday he confirmed the app’s existence with these words: “playing with @twitter's  new music app (yes it's real!).”

Call that some nice pre-launch buzz.

Already, millions of people use Twitter, with its medium of short-burst posts by users, as a forum for sharing and gathering information. They share ideas, photos, videos, and links to music already.

An application that lets people discover rising bands, and share songs with friends, has the potential to make Twitter an increasingly important venue where musicians and audiences.

Twitter executives seem to be letting people like Mr. Seacrest do the talking for now. For its part, though, the company made official its acquisition of a music-information platform called We Are Hunted, on Thursday.

“There's no question that Twitter and music go well together,” the company says in a statement on the We Are Hunted website. “Artists turn to Twitter first to connect with fans, and people share and discover new songs and albums every day. We can't wait to share what we've been working on at Twitter.”

So, what are they working on?

Twitter just says “we wish we could say but we're not yet ready to talk about it. You'll hear more from us when we are.”

Industry analysts expect a wider rollout to the public soon.

The website Tech Crunch, citing other news accounts, says Twitter’s music app “will suggest tracks based on data gleaned from users’ accounts, including the accounts that they follow. The app will allow users to listen to music using third-party services like iTunes and Soundcloud, or watch music videos provided by Vevo.”

If it ends up not working as great as Seacrest intimated? Don’t expect Twitter to give up and leave the playing field of music sharing to others.

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