Spotify is Releasing Stories

by Jette-Mari Anni

No matter which social media platform is your personal favorite, it probably has the same “story feature” by now. Stories were first introduced by Instagram, where people could post Snapchat-like images and videos that disappeared after 24 hours. They enabled you to see little snapshots of people’s days. Today, the stories feature exists on every platform from Twitter Fleets, LinkedIn Stories, and now they’re coming to Spotify.

I’ve previously written about the never-ceasing tension between traditional radio and its recent digital competitors. Some of the reasons people switch to a streaming service are the ability to choose their own music, skip the chatter, and fit their desired tunes to their own time schedule. Traditional radio and radio shows have kept their audience through building more intimate relationships with their listeners through DJs. Morning shows still rank as the most popular, as people gladly tune in during their commute to hear all about the current world from their favorite personas. Just recently, Spotify challenged this sacred morning ritual with their own morning show, a prerecorded podcast-meets-playlists hybrid, where the music was generated by each account’s individual favorites and preferences as well as new discoveries. Moreover, listeners were still able to skip the chatter if they wanted to. So, what’s the idea behind rolling out stories?

Spotify has a very established brand that shines, especially on Twitter. Spotify has been engaging with their fans on different social media platforms and frequently asks for their opinions. When someone tags Spotify under another conversation, it’s likely that Spotify account managers will take the time to at least like the comment. One of the main suggestions I’ve seen people giving to Spotify on Twitter and other social media discussions are enabling features that would let people connect with others through their shared taste in music.

Currently, the stories feature is more intended to let celebrities and influencers introduce their podcasts and music, but chances are the feature will be extended to all users. That would mean the previous choice between listening to the stories of people or musical pieces can now extend to matching each to a daily snapshot and moment. People have always wanted to be closer to their idols. In the early 2000s, it meant dressing up like Britney and buying all of her albums and merch. Today, it means following her on all the socials. With Spotify’s story feature, all of that can be done from one singular app.

Although this can challenge radio’s connection to their audience, we still have one secret power: the nostalgia! Nothing can beat the feeling of hearing your request being shouted out by your favorite DJ on your favorite station.