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Twitter is expected to introduce an iOS music discovery app this weekend at the Coachella music festival, according to All Things Digital, with general availability slated for next week.
The company signaled its intention to get into the music business when it acquired We Are Hunted, a streaming music service, last year. It currently maintains a placeholder page at music.twitter.com, with the #music hashtag and a nonfunctional sign-in button.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to CNET, the app presents signed-in users with personalized music recommendations, though it can also be used for music discovery without signing in.
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The app is said to consist of four main tabs: a "Suggested" tab of song and artist recommendations; a "#NowPlaying" tab that shows links to songs tweeted and tagged by followers; a "Popular" tab of trending songs; and an "Emerging" tab, designed to showcase yet-to-be-established artists.
Twitter has allowed users to embed songs in tweets since 2010. The launch of its new music app may bring an expansion of the number of embeddable services.
The music market has tempted more than just Twitter, in part because music represents both a source of revenue and of lock-in. Microsoft introduced Xbox Music last fall, for Xbox 360, Windows RT/8 and Windows Phone. Amazon, Apple and Google are all reportedly working on streaming music services of their own. Amazon is said to be interested in a streaming service similar to Spotify, while Apple is said to be pursuing a sort of Internet radio station akin to Pandora. Google is believed to be working on two music services, a digital music locker for Android users provided through Google Play and a music streaming service available to YouTube users.
The lesson here for online content delivery startups is that if the large platform providers can do what you're doing, they probably will.