Rhapsody has become the first streaming service to offer its full catalog of music on Twitter. The partnership, recently announced at South by Southwest in Austin, will allow subscribers to share songs in tweets that can be listened to in their entirety by anyone on Twitter (so long as they are in the US).
Ethan Rudin, Rhapsody’s CFO, said his company is attempting to find a new way to bring back music discovery and this is a huge experiment in doing just that.
Rhapsody’s experiment is being delivered by Twitter’s Audio Cards, a music feature that debuted last October which allows users to embed audio in their tweets. It launched in partnership with audio distribution platform SoundCloud and despite an early alliance with iTunes, they have primarily been used to distribute podcasts thus far.
All of the tracks that users can post to Twitter are fully licensed which means even when a non-subscriber checks out a tune, artists and labels will earn a royalty. That’s not exactly ideal on the financial side of things for Rhapsody but the company is clearly hoping to convert some free Twitter listeners to paying subscribers.
Rhapsody currently offers two subscription plans. The first, known as unRadio, is essentially an ad-free radio service (think Pandora) that sells for $4.99 per month. Rhapsody Premier, meanwhile, offers listeners unlimited access to its 34 million track catalog for the industry standard price of $9.99 each month.
The company plans to collect loads of data on the new service and share it with industry partners to see what works best.
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