Twitter Australia writes new tune, recruiting head of music

By Rosie Baker | 8 July 2014

Twitter Australia is poised to appoint a head of music, as it looks to diversify revenue and drive growth by extending its reach into music.

Twitter hasn't yet settled on a candidate but is interviewing and poised to move fast. It will name its new director of music “imminently”.

The aim is to build a relationship with record labels in the Australian market and push further into the music industry.

Music is increasingly an important revenue stream for Twitter to drive revenue and partnerships with media companies, and it believes it can play a significant role in drive in music sales. Twitter already has umber of avenues into music, including the Twitter Music Spotify app that streams the latest new music popular on Twitter, iTunes Radio and Rdio stations featuring new music popular on Twitter each day, Superstars - a custom timeline of the latest tweets from Superstars trending live, a playlist of music videos posted on Vine, and a custom timeline of song tweets trending on Twitter.

At the end of last month, Twitter launched a partnership with Viacom to promote singer Ed Sheeran's new album 'x' on the platform through content promoting new tracks and MTV's documentary 'Nine days and nights of Ed Sheeran' which aired in June. The album last week became the fastest selling album of the year in the UK and US.

It has also been speculated that Twitter is in talks to buy SoundCloud.

Twitter bought Brisbane-based music start up We Are Hunted last year. Co-founder Richard Slatter is currently a product manager at Twitter Music based in San Francisco.

But in April, Twitter killed off its #music app and pulled it from the iTunes app store, although it said it would “continue to experiment with new ways to bring you great content based on the music activity we see every day on Twitter.”

The new head of music role could have a say in what that next move might be. In the Australian market, digital music and streaming is hotly competitive and the lines are blurring between streaming and social networks with Spotify declaring in an interview with AdNews that "it is a social network".

For more on the growing and highly competitive music streaming market in in Australia as well as the traditional radio business, check out the next print issue of AdNews on 11 July for our Special Report on Radio and digital streaming. You can subscribe here, or get it on iPad.

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