04/12/2013 03:28 pm ET | Updated Apr 12, 2013

Twitter Music App Released, But Only A Lucky Few Have It

Now that Twitter has your eyes, it also wants your ears.

The company on Friday released Twitter Music for iOS, according to All Things D's Peter Kafka.

But only people like Ryan Seacrest and a select few high-profile Tweeters have access to it. Kafka notes it'll be available to the general public in about a week.

Twitter Music is based on We Are Hunted, a music recommendation service that Twitter purchased earlier this year and announced it had acquired on Thursday.

CNET's Casey Newton got a sneak peek at it last month when he reported the buy:

Twitter Music suggests artists and songs to listen to based on a variety of signals, and is personalized based on which accounts a user follows on Twitter. Songs are streamed to the app via SoundCloud.

Kafka reported in March that Twitter has also reached an agreement with Vevo, the music video service that has content deals with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and EMI, among others, and that at least initially, Vevo may be the only way to listen to entire songs from popular artists and groups in the app.

From All Things D:

SoundCloud has the ability to play lots of music, but for the most part it can’t play songs owned by the big music labels and publishers; Apple can only offer up partial clips of the songs in its music stores.

The big question is whether or not there's room -- or if there will be room -- for Twitter in this already crowded space.

Twitter certainly has some advantages: it already has over 200 million active users, who may be enticed by song suggestions based on the Twitter accounts they are following. But that doesn't guarantee that tweeters currently using the service to follow news or celebrities will like to use it to discover music.

But Pandora and Spotify, two of the leading streaming music services, have powerful followings. Pandora has 69 million monthly active listeners while Spotify boasts 24 million per month. Spotify, for its part, is in the midst of an aggressive ad campaign to grow its base of paying subscribers, which right now is at 6 million. Pandora doesn't release the number of listeners who subscribe to its service.

And Reuters reported last month that Apple, Amazon and Google all have plans to enter the streaming music business.

Writing for The Verge, Greg Sandoval reported on Thursday that Universal Music Group and Apple have "reached the final stages of negotiations." Sandoval also said that Warner Music could be the next big label to reach an agreement with Apple.

Vine, the video app that Twitter bought last year and then released in January, currently the most popular free iOS app.

This post has been updated to include figures from Pandora.


Top 9 Countries For Unauthorized Music Downloads