Spotify seems to be experimenting with a new feature reminsceint of Instagram and Facebook’s ‘stories’ function, allowing artists to add stories in a feature called “Storyline”
A post on the Popheads subreddit, pointing out that the music streaming giant had a new box entitled “Storyline” below certain songs. Testing this out for ourselves, we found a box underneath Billie Elish’s recent track “Bad Guy” that had a small box where Eilesh herself seemed to explain the stories behind the song.
It’s similar in many ways to Spotify’s “Behind the Lyrics” feature, although aesthetically much closer to a string of Facebook or Instagram stories, except instead of your friend showing off a photo of a creme egg they’ve bought or a poolside holiday they’re on, it’s a celebrity explaining why the song means what it means.
This doesn’t appear on the desktop client or Spotify’s web player, so to try it out for yourself you’ll have to go to Spotify on your phone.
Many fans on the Popheads post, and around social media are querying why this feature has been added while Behind the Lyrics also exists, but the answer could lie with Hayley Williams, lead singer of the band Paramore.
In a tweet last month, Hayley Williams gently called out Spotify for the inclusion of some incorrect facts popping up in the Behind the Lyrics on Paramore track Hard Times. The tweet.
Spotify isn’t necessarily in the wrong here. They’re partnered with Genius, an American media company that provides the facts. After Hayley Williams’ tweet, many people started pointing out other inaccuracies that had made their way to Spotify.
It seems that at least in part, this Storytime feature is a response to this: letting artists and management deliver their own thoughts on the processes and vibe behind a track is a smart idea, and firmly shifts the responsibility away from Spotify to ensure that the content is accurate. After all, if an artist or an artist’s management gets the information behind a song wrong, the blame lies with them, rather than Spotify.
This doesn’t seem to have rolled out on all platforms yet, and it’s unclear if it will do, but several songs on mobile now have a Storytime feature tucked away on the full screen view for Spotify’s mobile player, offering a direct connect between artist and fans on a few select songs. We’ll probably hear more about Spotify’s Storytime plans in the near future.