Mike Isaac

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Twitter Likely to Kill Its Music App

Twitter_Music_DeadJust six months after launching it, Twitter is strongly considering killing off its Twitter #Music mobile application, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

It is unclear what Twitter’s time frame is for ultimately ending support for Twitter #Music, as the company is currently in the midst of revamping its music department. But sources tell AllThingsD that the app’s fate is nearly sealed.

Upon its April debut, Twitter #Music spiked in the App Store rankings, reaching the No. 6 slot in overall free app downloads. But in the months that followed it slipped quickly. Sources said that since the initial surge the app has seen “abysmal” numbers both in iTunes App Store downloads and engagement.

As of the end of August, app analytics company Onavo places Twitter #Music at 1,672nd place in its own rankings. AppAnnie, another analytics service, ranks Twitter #Music at 264 in the iTunes Music app vertical as of October 19.

The scrapping of Twitter #Music, when it occurs, marks a clear misstep in the company’s online music strategy, which has lacked direction over the past year. The app was atypically developed in isolation inside the company. It was a sort of a skunkworks project led by former Twitter business development leader Kevin Thau, and built by the team behind “We Are Hunted,” a company Twitter acquired to work on music products. Twitter #Music, according to people familiar with its development, was never fully integrated with the overall product team as it was being built.

Shortly after Twitter #Music was launched, Thau left the company to become chief operating officer of Jelly, the stealth startup founded by Twitter forefather Biz Stone. That left the app, a product some have said felt half-baked, in the wind, its integration into Twitter’s overall strategy left to a product division that hadn’t really overseen its development.

As Twitter mulls how to end its #Music effort, the company is likely to further chase its cross-platform strategy of partnering with other companies and brands on music-related deals. Twitter partnered with Apple earlier this year, producing a trending playlist station for iTunes Radio, Apple’s Pandora-like music initiative for its online music sales portal. Twitter also added its playlists to Rdio, another online music service.

Currently, Twitter is in the midst of restructuring its music team. The company hired former Topspin Media SVP Bob Moczydlowsky last month, shortly after the departure of its sole artist relations employee, Tatiana Simonian, who left to join Nielsen in August. Moczydlowsky is known as a “product guy” in the music world and less focused on label and artist relations, which may define his new role at Twitter.

Twitter declined to comment for this story.

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