As we mentioned earlier this week, many artists are exploring new avenues to sell their music and products directly to fans, bypassing iTunes and other traditional routes that take a cut of sales.
This week, Twitter made that effort a little easier by announcing a new “buy” button that allows followers to purchase music, merchandise or anything else directly from a tweet, without ever leaving the Twitter app.
Starting with a small group of artists, charities, and brands like Brad Paisley, Wiz Khalifa, Eminem, Sound Garden, and Home Depot, they hope to quickly expand to any brand or company that wishes to sell something to customers.
Twitter’s head of commerce Nathan Hubbard says the goal of this feature is to “bring together artists—along with brands, charities, and others—more closely with their fans, and to help fans in a really easy and simple way connect with the artists they love.”
The new buy button feature will allow fans to store an encrypted copy of their credit card and shipping information within Twitter. When artists share a link to sell music or merchandise, fans who click the buy button will have their payment information automatically applied without being directed outside of the Twitter application.
Hubbard says it’s a way for artists to “turn those [direct] conversations into transactions in a way that’s fun and meaningful for fans and feels rights for the artists.” It could also serve as a way to incentivize and reward followers, as artists offer exclusive products and deals to their Twitter audience.
Twitter is becoming an increasingly vital part of music marketing. Artists like Taylor Swift have speculated that the difference between getting a record deal and going unsigned might be the size of your social media following. Ironically, with the ability to sell music directly to large base of fans through a tweet, having a record deal may not matter as much.