Twitmusic and what the service represents

Twitmusic is one of the latest investments from 500 startups. What
might be the first technology company started in the Philippines to
receive major investment from a US investment fund.

The platform allows artist to upload music and promote it to twitter
users in a pretty innovative way. When a visiters go goes to the
website twitmusic.com it has a list of artist and their songs to
browse.

The website requires you to login via twitter to get any use out of
it, but once you go to a song page you can listen to the entire song
for free. If you click buttons like “#nowplaying” it sends a tweet in
the background telling your friends that you are listening to the song
with link to the page with the song. Or you could click “love” and it
sends a tweet saying you love the artist’s twitter account. Comments
on the song are, of course, also shared on your twitter account to
your friends.

Twitmusic is a viral growth engine for new and established artist.
It’s a single platform that automates many of the important components
needed to create social virality, ease of sharing, recommendations
from friends and trend seeding. For artist its a great platform and
after raising more than 500KUSD and moving the team the San Francisco,
they are ready to start doing more deals with major labels and artist.

Already Twitmusic has nearly 8,000 musicians with a combined 30M
twitter followers sharing a total 275K tracks. The site gets over 200K
unique pageviews a month and they are still growing.

The company has a lot of potential but it also brings into focus a
very interesting problem. Everyone from artist, businesses small and
large understand the value of social media marketing but there are
very few platforms that are easy to use and manage for those that are
non-technical.

Take for example the fact that plenty of artist promote their videos
on Youtube but very few can raise above the fold without detailed
study of how to game the Youtube platform. Millions of artist have
twitter and facebook accounts but fail to gain more than 500 followers
or likes, they never gain the elusive viral traction that everyone
talks about.

To explode in popularity requires a consistently executed strategy of
on-going marketing, some of it paid. For someone on a small budget the
trial and error period required to find out what works can quickly
burn through limited budgets.

For all brands (for the rest of this we will treat brands and artist
interchangeably) there is a basic level of archivable virality. When I
was at columbia music we found that a independant artist can gather
about 200-500 real people to support them with a action that required
creating a account and voting. A hurdle not as high as buying a CD or
song but still, a hurdle. The way that social media virality works, a
brand should be able to gain 10 new fans for every existing fan they
have. 500 fans should translate into 5000 followers and likes on
facebook and 5,000 customers should translate into 50,000 followers
and likes over say, a 6 months campaign fairly easily. This is a base
level of virality. But often times brands fail to reach it.

The reason so many brands fail to reach this level of virality is that
they brands have no control over the medium of virality. They have no
control over youtube, twitter or facebook. In reality they are only
users trying to gain access to other users. Unless they are spending
advertising dollars on the platform which is a very expensive way to
gain new fans, they are really just like any other user.

Compare this to a brand website. On the website they can track how
many users are coming to their page, what they are doing on the page,
what products, songs, or items they are most interested in, etc at a
very detailed level. With this information they can optimize, make
modifications to the website to encourage more activity. On a brand
website they have something very valuable to growth, data. With data
they take action to encourage growth. Without data everything is a
guess.

On facebook and twitter brands don’t have any of that information, if
it does exist, it’s limited to the biggest spenders on their platform.
Youtube does provide a little information, but even that is limited.
In the case of artist, almost all music hosting platforms on the net
fail to provide anything more the ability to upload and host songs and
allow visitors to play or buy them.

twitmusic represents what I think will be a increasing trend of meta
social networks. Social networks that sit one layer above the social
networks that control the social graph like facebook and twitter.
These meta social networks will make it easier for users to share
content across networks, monitor the performance of content shared
across those networks and optimize to improve performance. It will
give them access to data. Regardless of the destination network.

The reality is that when it comes to social media marketing most small
brands, and even large brands are lost and slightly overwhelmed.
twitmusic isn’t a social media marketing platform, it has the
opportunity to become a new destination site artist and brands. From
that website, with the help of twitmusic data and tools, artist will
have the ability to push users to the destinations they want to
increase growth.

Twitmusic is more than a marketing platform, and its not a social
network. Its a meta social network who’s purpose is to drive, measure
and optimize viral growth on the social networks below them. Today
twitmusic supports only twitter, but eventually they will support all
major social networking platforms, I know this not because the company
has told me, but because its what is obviously necessary. And they
won’t be alone in this trend because as these social platforms become
bigger the more they will focus on the biggest partners and brands.
The meta social networks will assist the rest.