Monday, March 24, 2014

Twitter #Music Pulled From App Store, Shutting Down April 18

Andy Gensler/Billboard

In a tweet on Friday (March 21), Twitter announced it was pulling its Twitter #Music app from Apple's App Store and planned to shut it down entirely on April 18, a year to the day it launched.

The application let users discover music through artist and others' Tweets, listen to music with Spotify or Rdio, watch videos on YouTube or Vevo and buy songs via iTunes.

Twitter #Music initially launched to great celebrity-hyped fanfare propelling the app to the top of the iTunes download charts. But the app quickly fell off the map within a few weeks as the buzz died. By October the app ranked No. 165 in the free music apps category, according to AppData.

One initial problem with the music platform was its lack of breadth in Twitter #Music's recommendations. It served up two sets of recommendations-one based on what was trending on Twitter and another based on software created by Australian startup We Are Hunted that mined the Web to seek out hot new bands favored by music critics but not yet widely known.

Kevin Thau, the VP who spearheaded the acquisition of We Are Hunted, which became part of Twitter #Music's backend, and who worked to create the initial app, departed the company on April 24 to join Jelly, a company started by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. In September, the company hired Bob Moczydlowsky, former senior VP of product marketing at Topspin Media, as head of Twitter #Music.

In a subsequent tweet a few hours after the announcement that it was shuttering the Twitter #Music app, the social media platform made it clear it is not done fine tuning its music strategy noting that Twitter would "continue to experiment with new ways to bring you great content based on the music activity we see every day on Twitter."

Though it's not clear what will replace Twitter's music initiative, a story this past October in Billboard reported on sources who claimed it intends to integrate the app into its main feed as one of several topic verticals so it can sell more effectively target advertising. Other verticals include news, TV and movies. Developing those verticals, sources said then, is seen as key to ­Twitter's future growth.

Twitter became a publicly traded company this post November.

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