- SoundCloud, the music-streaming service with 175 million users worldwide, partnered with Instagram to let users share links to songs in the image-messaging app's Stories feature. The latest iOS and Android versions of SoundCloud have a button to "Share to Instagram Stories," according to a company blog post.
- The integration between the two apps lets recording artists promote their music to more people through Instagram Stories, while letting listeners more easily share music with friends and encouraging downloads of SoundCloud's app to hear the shared songs.
- Instagram parent company Facebook first announced the song-sharing feature in May at its F8 developer conference, when the social network also said third-party apps like Spotify and GoPro would get additional sharing features, TechCrunch reported.
SoundCloud's sharing feature on Instagram Stories follows a similar feature by rival Spotify, the music-streaming app with 83 million paid subscribers worldwide. The partnership may help SoundCloud reach a new audience, especially since Instagram is one of the most popular apps among U.S. teens. Eighty-five percent of U.S. teens reported using Instagram at least once a month, outpacing Snapchat at 84%, and about one-third (32%) said Instagram is their favorite social media platform, compared to 46% for Snapchat, according to Piper Jaffray's latest survey released this week.
By integrating its music library into Instagram Stories, SoundCloud has to potential to reach Stories' 400 million daily active users, who may or may not already be familiar with the music platform. The feature shows great potential for both musical artists and advertisers, with 50% of consumers buying a product online after seeing it in Stories and 31% buying in-store after seeing it on the platform, according to Instagram.
Getting in front of more potential customers is essential for SoundCloud, which has sought to distinguish its service from rivals like Spotify and Apple Music by giving recording artists the software tools to create and distribute their music. The integration with Instagram means that creators no longer need workarounds like posting screen grabs and SoundCloud links to the image-sharing network to promote their content. SoundCloud's emphasis on creators has helped to boost the number of available tracks on its app to more than 177 million, compared to about 40 million on Spotify, per Digital Music News.
Meanwhile, SoundCloud earlier this month opened its monetization tools to all artists after introducing the service four years ago for invited creators, per a blog post. Musicians 18 and older who publish original content can join the SoundCloud Premier program for a fee of $8 to $16 a month to get more than 5,000 streams a month. Creators receive a share of the revenue for the streams, further incentivizing them to join the program and stay on the SoundCloud platform. The expanded program followed rival Spotify's September announcement of a direct upload feature for independent artists to let them collect royalties for their music, per Rolling Stone. Not to be outdone, SoundCloud this month announced partnerships with music software developers Native Instruments, Serato, Virtual DJ, DEX3, Mixvibes and DJuced/Hercules, allowing DJs to stream and mix SoundCloud's massive music catalog in real time, Variety reported.