Taking a Page from Instagram and Snapchat, Spotify Introduces a New Test Feature — Storylines

Spotify has started testing its own version of Instagram and Snapchat’s immensely popular ‘Stories’ feature.

Dubbed Storylines, the feature provides listeners with behind-the-scenes information from artists about their songs.

Unlike the Genius-powered ‘Behind the Lyrics,’ however, the streaming music giant doesn’t present the information through interactive pop-up cards.  Instead, users can tap on the Instagram-like UI to see cards featuring images and text.

According to Android Police – which first spotted the test feature – artists can directly add multiple images and type text to their Storylines.  Users can tap on the right side of each card to move on to the next part of the story.

Currently, Spotify listeners can access the Storylines feature on a handful of songs.  These include Jonas Brothers’ ‘Sucker’ and multiple Billie Eilish songs, such as ‘bad guy,’ ‘bury a friend,’ ‘when the party’s over,’ and ‘wish you were gay.’  Multiple lines on top of the screen reveal how many cards are left to view.

As TechCrunch points out, the new feature makes sense for Spotify.  Instead of paying Genius to power the ‘Behind the Lyrics’ feature, the company could reach out to artists and management teams to add their own information for fans.

Storylines could also cut down on inaccurate info posted by Genius.

Several weeks ago, Hayley Williams, Paramore’s lead vocalist, publicly reached out to Spotify to correct inaccurate info.

In a widely-viewed tweet, she wrote,

“@spotify Hi.  For about a yr now, my band’s mgmt has tried get y’all to take down some… outdated… facts on behind the lyrics for our song ‘Hard Times.’  The facts are: it’s all embarrassing & there was no “bright side”… hence the title, ‘Hard Times.’  Thank you & goodnight.

Music fans then pointed out errors on other popular songs, including 21 Pilots’ ‘Jumpsuit’ and Travis Scott’s ‘Yosemite.’

Spinning the grievous mistakes, a Genius spokesperson told Digital Music News,

Artists love Genius’s Spotify integration. Artists, managers, and labels reach out daily to ask if we’ll cover new releases.  In the case of Hayley Williams, her Tweet was the first time we heard about it, and we got in touch with her team immediately…It’s really very rare that an artist has a correction or question about Behind the Lyrics, but when stuff comes up we’re always very responsive and open to making improvements.

In addition, if Storylines proves successful, the new feature would eventually allow Spotify to sever its partnership with Genius, which has recently made a strong, strategic partnership with Apple.

Confirming the feature remains available on a handful of devices, a Spotify spokesperson said,

We are always testing new ways to create better experiences for more users.

No word yet, however, on when the company will expand the Storylines feature to more songs.