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Music Business News, September 27, 2017

Twitter said it is testing an expanded character limit. And Amazon Music added Alexa to its apps. Also, BMG acquired Immediate Music.


Twitter User Testing an Expanded Character Limit


Select Twitter users will be able to send 240-character tweets, reported Billboard.


Twitter announced it will test out expanded character limits on a select group of users via blog post written by product manager Aliza Rosen on September 26. The test is designed to see whether or not people feel freer to “express themselves” when they are not restricted by space.


Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO tweeted that the test is “a small change but a big move for us.” The 140-character limit has been around since Twitter’s inception and, according to Dorsey, started as “an arbitrary choice.” He explained that he hopes doubling the character limit will solve a problem many users have complained about while still sticking to the “brevity, speed and essence” of the platform.


Rosen said that the length of tweets is different in different parts of the world. For instance, thoughts in Japan require fewer characters to express because of the nature of the Japanese language. Japanese tweets are about 15 characters long, whereas English tweets tend to hit about 34 characters. She added, “We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter.”


Expanded tweets are currently available to a small group. Opening this feature up to the larger community will depend on an analysis of how the expanded character limit affects the platform as a whole.


Twitter has been thinking about changing the 140-character limit for several years. The company once thought it might increase the character limit to 10,000 on tweets. It ended up expanding the length of direct messages to this figure in 2015 and has made other changes to improve user friendliness, like not counting usernames in the character count.


Twitter currently has 238 million monthly active users.


Amazon Music Adding Alexa to iOS and Android Apps


Amazon Music added the Alexa voice feature to its iOS and Android apps, according to Billboard.


As of September 26, users of Amazon Music will be able to access Alexa in the app using the push-to-talk function. This increases the user-friendliness of the app for those loyal Amazon customers who are likely already familiar with the functions of the Echo and Dot speakers. They will now be able to ask to play specific kinds of music, access playlists or browse their collection. The feature is designed to help users more easily find music and may likely have the side effect of improving the new music discovery function on the platform.


VP of Amazon Music Steve Boom said in a statement, “Amazon Music customers already know and love Alexa from listening on Echo devices … Now our mobile listeners can enjoy an entirely new app experience that combines the power and simplicity of Alexa voice controls with the visual richness of the Amazon Music app.”


Alexa is available by updating the Amazon Music app to the latest version.


BMG Taking on Immediate Music


BMG Production Music increased its holdings in the space, taking on Immediate Music.


According to Complete Music Update, BMG as a whole company is in the process of growing its market share across the board.


BMG Production Music was started in February 2017. A couple weeks ago, the division also acquired the French company AXS Music.


Immediate Music houses a catalog of “epic” music for film trailers and has created and licensed music for and to more than 4,000 movie promo campaigns. Its placements have included Blade Runner 2049, Wonder Woman, Star Wars: Rogue One and many others. It has also provided music for Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and television shows including Stranger Things and Narcos.


Geert-Willem Koolhof of BMG Production Music (BMGPM) said, “Production music is one of the fastest growing segments in the industry and BMGPM continues to strengthen and develop the most competitive team in the marketplace.”


Yoav Goren, Immediate Music’s co-founder added, “We are extremely excited to join the BMG family. We’ve always shared the same goals and sensibilities – to produce a unique brand of quality music while emphasizing the highest level of service to our clients … With this new synergistic collaboration, our teams will usher in a new chapter of creativity, opportunity and expansion into a market hungry for the uncompromising levels of quality BMG Production Music is set to deliver.”

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