Last week Instagram announced Spotify integration
into their stories feature. On the mobile app you can select a song from Spotify and upload a screen of it to your Instagram story page. I’ve written around this topic before, but Instagram, especially in genres like rap, is such an underrated music platform.
Artists constantly post content, tease new songs, hint at future collaborations, engage with fans on the live streaming feature, and generally connect with their audience in way not offered by any other music streaming service. Though this Spotify Instagram integration doesn’t heighten any of these user generated modes of communication it does show that Instagram, especially in it’s stories mode, is more invested in exploring this space.
[Side Note: When Snapchat first introduced the ability to upload screenshots to stories was that people would post what song they were listening to. Now that it’s officially integrated into Instagram is cool, but gotta give a bit of credit, where it’s due.]
Earlier this week Tech Crunch got a scoop
on a Instagram developing “stickers” that one can use to show what music their listening to or potentially play songs in their stories—the actual function isn’t quite clear. The feature isn’t live, but jumping off from what I was just saying earlier Instagram is already an app where a lot of music discovery takes place. The more ways that it allows for music interactions could start to open up new doors for how music can be consumed that’s outside of people consuming music from an infinite musical cloud. This is an early hint that Instagram, similar to voice assistant devices, could be opening a new door for how music is contextualized.
Instagram stories are already filled with plenty of content of people, and celebrities, listening to music and artists playing and performing their own songs, so what is the world where all of that content is now added into the overall music ecosystem. Notable Josh Constine of Tech Crunch mentioned that getting more people to listen to stories could also be a boon for advertisers who want users to not just swipe through their ads but to also listen and engage. That’s what’s interesting to me is that in a way this functionality could quickly leapfrog past Spotify’s own idea of contextual listening not only in scale, but integration. No longer is it sleep playlists, but artists potentially getting royalties anytime someone posts a story with a clip of their music alongside it.
When I wrote about Twitch a couple months ago I should’ve stressed this particular potential rethinking of music consumption. Where in Twitch videos music consumption is passive, because it’s in the background of someone playing video games, but potential form could be in the background of a walk in the park or just hanging with friends at a party. A Instagram is posted with you tagging Drake’s “God’s Plan” and a check eventually will make it to Drake’s doorstep. Well potentially maybe. I fell down a bit of rabbit hole here, but this is the type of spitballing that’s fascinating to me in envisioning a music ecosystem that aims to monetize every point of consumption.