Shazam and SoundCloud recently announced their Instagram Story integration for various strategic decisions and interests. Instagram Stories is a currently a very cool feature, so a lot of music platforms want to be a part of it. In this blog post, I will be analyzing the latest news regarding Shazam and SoundCloud’s integration and what it means for independent musicians.
Instagram’s latest ‘Soundtracks’ feature is a very popular tool where users can add music to their ‘stories’. Soundtracks has been very serious licensing work on Facebook’s end, because adding recorded music to stories implies lots of music to be licensed and tracks to be cleared. However, the functionality was released a few months ago and now it’s fully integrated to the app. The success of ‘Soundtracks’ created similar expectation for other music apps to be integrated to Instagram stories. With these ascending expectations from users, Shazam and SoundCloud recently delivered.
Shazam officially made its Instagram integration on November 1. In terms of the way it works, it’s very straightforward. You would simply go to Shazam app and click listen. As the app listens to the song you want, it identifies and tells you the title, artist and album. Then, you can click on ‘Share’ and it will take you to Instagram Stories. Cover art and title of the song will appear on Instagram story along with a link back to the song on Shazam. Pretty simple!
Shazam’s Instagram Story feature is currently only for iOS users, while there are no concrete plans for Android users. This news come with no surprise, as Apple recently acquired Shazam for $400 million. Apple’s strategy for acquiring Shazam seems to revolve around Shazam’s paid tier, Encore, which offers integration with Spotify. It seems that Apple will switch this partnership to Apple Music, which seems like a costly strategy but should help drive up the user numbers of Apple Music: In the acquisition, Apple also pledged that Shazam will now be ad-free. However, we should keep in mind that Shazam helps its users identify over 20 million songs per day, and has been downloaded 1 billion times in iTunes App Store since 2007. So, Apple has a serious strategy with Instagram Story integration to drive up subscription to Apple Music.
Further into the independent musician platforms, SoundCloud also recently announced it’s integration with Instagram Stories. SoundCloud also recently announced it’s monetization platform, SoundCloud Premier monetization, which is now open for Pro and Pro Unlimited subscribers.
With this new feature, SoundCloud Pro and Pro Unlimited subscribers will be able to monetize their eligible content to start getting paid for their music streams.
SoundCloud’s Intstagram Stories integration works the same way as Shazam. However, as a platform, SoundCloud is widely regarded to be for independent artists and remixes. So, with Instagram Stories integration there comes a problem of licensing. As SoundCloud can not really control the amount of uploads and the songs being uploaded to its platform (unlike Spotify or Apple Music), so the platform needs to figure out a way to potentially avoid legal troubles. However, a recent publishing deal with DubSet makes it seem like the company is headed that direction.
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Alper Tuzcu is a Berklee College of Music and Denison University alumni, and a Boston based guitarist, songwriter and producer. His new album ‘Aurora’ was released on October 19, 2018 and his debut eclectic album ‘Between 12 Waters’ featuring 8 different vocalists is available on Spotify. In addition to being a musician, he regularly teaches workshops and masterclasses internationally. You can follow him on Instagram or Twitter, and for more information you can visit his website www.alpertuzcu.com