Spotify Is Testing Its Own Stories Feature

The music streaming service is allowing musicians and influencers to add videos to playlists, but it may not be rolled out as a fully-fledged feature.

Spotify has reportedly confirmed it’s testing a new feature that allows musicians to add Story-like video messages to curated playlists. While similar features have been rolled out for a variety of different social media sites, is it a good idea for a music-streaming service?

Snapchat was the first to introduce a My Story feature in 2013 as a way for its users to send videos to each other in the form of compiled Snaps. Over time, it expanded with more public Stories, including ones from celebrities, influencers, and ad-supported content from online publishers. Similar features have since been rolled out to other services, including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and, most recently, Twitter with its Fleets.

Related: Spotify Testing Recommendations Promoted By Artists & Labels

Now, Spotify has joined them. As Engadget reports, users have noticed that a Stories-like feature is appearing on some playlists. YouTube personality Trevor Martin, posted about finding these Snapchat-style Stories on a Christmas Hits playlist, with messages from artists including Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Lopez, and Meghan Trainor. Engadget reports that these Story-like videos have appeared on other curated playlists, including on an enhanced version of Megan Thee Stallion’s Good News album. Spotify said it was testing the feature but that didn’t mean it would necessarily be rolled out. The company also tested a similar spin on the feature last year, with certain influencers able to add videos to their own curated playlists.

Do Stories On Spotify Make Any Sense?

Spotify phone and tablet

When it comes to most of the platforms that have Story-like videos, there’s one thing that connects them. They’re all communication or social media services. Sure, many of these services have branched out into other areas, such as entertainment and news, but all of them are predicated on the notion that the user will be actively engaging with the service through a computer or mobile device. Spotify is different. As a music-streaming service, a large portion of its users won’t be looking at the app as they use it. They could be listening to music while they exercise with their phone in their pockets, they might use it for background music as they work or read, not looking at the app unless a song they don’t like comes on, or perhaps they’re using the app at a house party. In any of these cases, these users would arguably never see the Story feature as they aren’t looking at the app on their phones or computers.

But even for people who are regularly looking at the app, the feature seems a bit strange because its whole existence is a distraction from the core essence of the service — to stream music. Imagine, for example, if Netflix were to roll out a Stories feature. If a user was watching the latest season of The Umbrella Academy, would a personal video message from Ellen Page on her couch at home really add to the experience, or could it even detract from it? There is an argument that a Stories feature in Spotify would give fans an insight into their favorite artists, but there’s also a good chance that a lot of people would only watch these Story-like videos on Spotify as a fleeting curiosity without it adding that much value.

More: Apple Watch Can Now Stream Music From Spotify Without An iPhone

Source: Engadget, Trevor Martin/Twitter

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Updated: November 29, 2020 — 12:47 pm

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