Twitter’s New Music Strategy: Seamless Listening

People love discovering music on Twitter, and artists love sharing it. So it’s no surprise that the social media powerhouse is trying to capitalize on music sharing. First there was the Twitter Music app, a forgettable and unfortunate miss. Now, Twitter’s rethought its strategy, and launched the ‘Audio Card’ system that allows users to listen to music from embeds in tweets, without disrupting any of the applications interface. Twitter users can dock the music player and let the music play on as the surf through a sea of Tweets.

The first partners are Soundcloud and iTunes, but Twitter also hopes to integrate more music services into the Audio Card system soon. Hopefully they work out partnerships with Spotify, Youtube, and perhaps even grow to let people use the app as a search engine for a wide array of music. If the strategy works, Twitter can capture a lot of music conversation, and make it more accessible than ever. It could be an unexpected solution for Twitter’s two biggest issues: driving up faltering user counts, and profile views. It’s possible people will gravitate towards the platform to hear sounds the second they’re released, or scroll deeper into artist’s profiles while streaming their latest singles.

The revamped Audio Card system differs from the failed Music App and standard interface in a few key aspects. It caters to a mobile interface, letting users play music without opening another window or app. Simultaneous listening allows experimentation and discovery — and continued use of the twitter app. The Audio Card strategy also differentiates music from other standard media, like photos and videos.

Twitter Audio Card plays up artist interests, and seamless listening may just incentivize artists to share new music more often. Twitter’s already a hot spot for artists to interact with each other; shout-out, collaboration requests, and light banter are all pretty common among tweet-happy rappers, vocalists, and producers. If songs get a lot of plays, artists may begin premiering singles on Twitter, and fans will be able to engage from the first few seconds. Michael Jackson’s estate even released a posthumous music video via Twitter a few months ago. Overall, Twitter’s new music strategy foreshadows a lot of opportunities for fans and artists to share music, and a better way to listen and tweet to your heart’s content. It will be interesting to see where the social media giant takes this project next.