Twitter for Music

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For those of you who have just awoken from a sound 10 year slumber, the “internets” (as our friends in the hilarious and rocking Super Adventure Club sing in “Former Ladies Of The Cold War”) has really taken off. As such, I decided to opine on Twitter and Music. As many of you have heard, Twitter was the new Facebook, which was the new Myspace, which was the new….thewell.com? So what is the new Twitter? Well, in recent weeks, we have noted two new music startups that describe themselves as “Twitter for Music.” Wait, why can’t Twitter be Twitter for Music?

1. Blip.fm: A muso friend-in-the-know turned me on to them a little while back. Users sign up and search for songs (apparently hosted on blogs…as Seeqpod’s example shows, this is dangerous territory). Selecting a song for your feed is called “Blipping,” which allows one to create a station or playlist. Other users can then follow (Twitter-style) your Blips and hear each of the songs you program, each with a short commentary by the blipper (forgive the over-alliteration). Just watching unrelated blips pop up on the home page and cherry-picking songs to hear is like voyeurism meets Jack-FM. But be careful…if you let a song finish you might be hit with an Eagles song…gross.

Blip’s data collection and ad-targeting abilities are promising: What artists are 25-29 YO Male users in the 94110 zip code blipping? Want to deliver banners touting the new Depeche Mode album to only those blipping DM or New Order?

2. Twt.fm: Started by an employee of one of the bigger (and cooler) Artist Management firms out there to help artists easily add songs to their Twitter feeds, Twt.fm is not so much a community site like Blip.fm, but a simple tool to share music on Twitter. The user searches for a song – I have had a little difficulty finding deeper or catalog songs – and similar to Blip.fm, it appears mp3s are hosted on blogs, Youtube or imeem (now remind me how imeem pays their licensing bills when others use their streams or players off of imeem’s site?).

Jimmy Eat World just used Twt.fm to help launch their new album, with pretty stellar results. Twitter accounted for over 20% of their first day album sales and the campaign also added 200K twitter followers to their existing 150K person twitter list.

So what next for Twitter and music? Likely lots of experimenting and success stories as it develops into a fan management tool. Artists who harness Twitter as a fan communication and community building platform stand to gain significantly, especially those artists in a twitter-friendly genre like Jimmy Eat World. (Is Twitter the answer for a new Celine Dion album? Probably not.) And for casual or serious music fans, these tools are yet another way to share or discover music or to simply twitter away an hour listening to old favorites, deeper cuts or guilty pleasures.

-Jeff Daniel

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