As described in their pitch video, NowPlaying.fm will soon offer a new music service integrated within the popular social site, Twitter. In yet another move to push audiences towards specialized Internet streaming, the service will allow users to listen to specific songs online, tweeted by them or their friends.
Within Twitter, topics are emphasized by users and tracked through the use of a number sign (#) in front of a single word phrase. These are called hash tags. For example, #threewordsforyou and #spacejams were the second and third most popular trends on Twitter on December 23, 2009, right behind #nowplaying, the popular term used to indicate what twitterers are listening to. Nowplaying.fm will allow users to search for a song title and artist name on their website. The website will then create a tweet formatted with #nowplaying, the song title and artist, and a bit.ly link to a page where users can listen to that specific song, adding a new dynamic to the popular tag.
While Pandora has been a major player in Internet radio, NowPlaying.fm allows users to do something fairly new. I wonder, though, if it will be legally compromising. With the main difference between Pandora and NowPlaying.fm being the latter’s ability to play specifically requested songs, the issue of copyright infringement might arise, depending on how the service’s database is structured. Sites such as Pandora and Lala have had to wheel and deal with record companies since their inceptions to be able to stream copyright music for free online. With the NowPlaying.fm service though, it is unclear which database the bit.ly link within the tweet will take users.
It will also be interesting to see how the website handles unknown bands without major record deals.
It is difficult to answer these questions, as the service is not available yet, with the domain only having been registered on December 21. APIs are currently being developed, with a Beta version to be offered in early 2010 to a select 500 people who sign up on their website. We contacted Nowplaying.fm to talk, but, of course, it’s the holidays.
To be placed on this list you can go to their website, and submit your name and e-mail. When we signed up we got this message:
Thanks for requesting a NowPlaying beta invitation. At the moment, we are optimizing some code and performing some general tidiness. Invites will begin to distribute in the coming weeks and we expect around 500 beta testers.
Like the girl who didn’t exactly ‘put out’ on the first date please do not ditch & forget about us as you wait 🙂
The NowPlayingFM Team
Follow us: @NowPlayingFM
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