While it may come as a surprise, today's Twitter + Rhapsody deal makes sense. To attract and retain users, streaming music services are forming dozens of new partnerships; and social networks like Snapchat and LINE are increasingly turning to music.
Twitter users can now listen to and share any of the 30 million songs in the Rhapsody library, whether they subscribe to the service or not. Like SoundCloud tracks, Rhapsody listening and sharing happens via an audio card integrated with Twitter, rather than via a link to another website or app.
Unlike Spotify, Rhapsody does not offer a free tier to attract new users. So while the extended music functionality is smart for Twitter, the partnership is even more important to Rhapsody, who hopes to use it to attract new paying subscribers.