Storyline on Spotify: Cool New Feature or Grab for Instagram?

Earlier this week, Spotify launched a new feature to a select few musicians: Storyline. This allows for a musician to share their own story about a song in an Instagram Stories like method, with users tapping their way through a song. The musician can upload images or text or both to be scrolled through as the song plays.

The Rolling Stones tweeted their experience with the new feature on the song “Light On” for artist Maggie Rogers. While playing the song, images with text appeared slideshow style under the play button.

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Spotify is hoping that this new feature gives musicians more control in sharing their story behind the song, like their already available feature “Behind the Lyrics”. In fact, the Storyline appears directly below the Behind the Lyrics when used in app. The main difference being that the Behind the Lyrics comes from a third party – Genius Bar. The Storyline would come directly from the musicians themselves.

This move to a new musician focused story seems to be coming from the problems both musicians and listeners have had with the Behind the Lyrics feature. Several weeks ago, Hayley Williams of the band Paramore, tweeted to Spotify asking for her information in the Behind the Lyrics to be corrected. Music fans have also begun to point out several inaccuracies on other songs.

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So how can unsigned musicians use this new feature to their advantage? I see a few possibilities.

You can use the Instagram-like UI to create a lyric video to accompany your songs. Musicians and fans alike have long wanted a lyric feature in the app, and this might be a way to get one, even if unofficially.

This also provides the first opportunity for Spotify to become more social. If you’re like me, Spotify often plays while I’m driving the in car, working at my desk, or otherwise just sitting there with the screen off as I do other things. By having a story playing with text and images, you can create not only visually interesting stories for your fans to watch, you can also encourage them to engage with you on other social platforms.

I also find it interesting that this is coming after the huge success of Instagram's integration of music into their own Stories. Maybe seeing that reaction inspired Spotify to incorporate something similar into their own app as they try to increase staying time on the app.

Does Storyline give musicians the ability to be more social on Spotify?

Storyline is currently testing on both iOS and Android and is used with select musicians in both the US and the Netherlands. Some of these musicians include the Jonas Brothers with their song “Sucker” and several songs from Billie Eilish.

In a statement from Spotify, a spokesperson said, “We are always testing new ways to create better experiences for more users.


So, what are your thoughts on this new feature in Spotify? Is this something that would interest you? How do you think you would use it to engage your fans? Let’s talk about it in the comments!