Social media platforms have long attempted to incorporate features involving music, attempting to add this element to their users’ sharing repertoires. Instagram, for example, lets users share songs from Spotify directly to their stories (albeit in the form of a screenshot), and Instagram Music allows users to play short clips of songs in the background of their Stories. Given the popularity of platforms like Instagram and the ever-growing trend of music streaming, why haven’t these features blossomed into social media’s next big thing?
Similarly, music streaming platforms have attempted to incorporate social features to encourage their users to share their favorite songs or artists with one another, but these features haven’t had much more success in their own right.
Let’s explore why neither social media giants nor their music streaming counterparts have been able to package social and music in a truly compelling way.
While many users enjoy sharing screenshots of songs they like or adding audio clips via features such as Instagram Music, one major problem persists: users do not care enough to leave the app that they are on. For example, if your friend posts a screenshot on their Snapchat or Instagram story of a song that you don’t know, how likely are you to leave that app to open a streaming service and listen to that one song in hopes that you like it enough to download it? The answer is: not very likely. To complicate matters even more, you must subscribe to the same streaming service as the person who shared the song if you want to be able to listen to the whole track. Therefore, Apple Music users are automatically limited to a mere 30 second clip if their friend on Spotify shares a song on social media. Therefore, while your closest friends may take the time to listen to your favorite tunes, your following as a whole is unlikely to do so.
It is safe to say that Apple and Spotify are not big fans of each other. The corporate rivals, and two major players in the music streaming industry, have a lengthy history of beefs and legal battles. This doesn’t help matters when it comes to incorporating social features into their platforms. While Apple Music users can share with other Apple Music users, and Spotify users can share with other Spotify users, it is rare that one’s entire network subscribes to the same service. Therefore, if you would like a friend on another platform to hear your new favorite song or album, you are undoubtedly limited to sending 30 second clips of each song over text, email, Facebook Messenger, etc. In a world where it could not be easier to share pictures and videos for everyone to see, these are not the ideal tools to share music.
So what gives? In the age of social media and music streaming, shouldn’t there be a way to use both at the same time without the hassle?
A Potential Solution?
Rhythm, a Toronto-based music sharing start-up, is aiming to provide the solution.
Rhythm is a music sharing app that bridges the gap between streaming services. No matter if you subscribe to Apple Music or Spotify Premium, you and your friends can follow each other, share your favorite songs, and stream them right from Rhythm. Your news feed caters to your chosen streaming service, meaning that even when your friends post songs from the other service, you see the version that you can stream. If you like a song someone shares, you can save it directly to your Apple or Spotify library with the touch of a button.
Rhythm is laid out like your average social media platform; a news feed filled with posts from the people you follow, a discover page (similar to explore on Instagram), post, notifications, and profile. Each user signs in through their Apple Music or Spotify account to access their music, and you can share screenshots of your Rhythm posts directly to your Instagram story.
Users can make captions on their posts, and their friends can add comments, similar to existing social platforms. Additionally, each post displays the number of likes and saves (ie. how many times people have saved the song to their Apple or Spotify library). Additionally, users can add songs to their queue within Rhythm as they scroll through their feeds, with the ability to change the order and/or remove songs from the queue if they so choose.
In summary, Rhythm is bringing social and streaming together in two ways.
- Users who subscribe to different streaming services can now share with each other
- Their favorite songs can now be posted, liked, and commented on just like their pictures and videos
No more leaving the app you’re on to stream a song, and no more “sorry, I don’t subscribe to that streaming service”.
Music streaming and social media have always seemed like obvious partners in crime, but so far the perfect fit between them has yet to be found. Maybe, just maybe, Rhythm has it figured out.
Download Rhythm on the App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/rhythm/id1499889444?ls=1