Music consumption in recent years has shifted rapidly. The music industry has been altered by social media and online streaming.
This has changed how we engage with musicians, and other fans, and how we discover new music. Social media has also played a prominent role in the rapid growth of the music streaming market.
With this duo being easily intertwined, one has to wonder, can music streaming be considered a form of social media?
Here’s Why Music Streaming Platforms Can Be Considered Social Media:
Music streaming services and social media platforms have a lot in common. Both give artists direct access to their fans, allowing engagement in real-time and a way to cultivate their brands. Music consumers can also interact and give feedback to show support or help musicians improve their artistry.
Is Apple Music Considered Social Media?
Apple Music is not considered a social media platform, although a few years ago Apple Music attempted its hand at creating an interface called, Apple Music Connect.
Artists were able to use it to share lyrics to their songs, and exclusive photos, and even release new music to their fan followers, all from their iPhones.
Apple Music Connect was developed as a ‘one-stop shop’ social media hybrid and artists could directly respond to their fans’ comments, like on Twitter and Instagram.
It was scrapped not long after that because artist engagement dwindled rapidly and Apple tried to follow its traditional approach of keeping content exclusive and private.
However, more recently, Apple Music has started integrating more social features into the app.
They have introduced user profiles where members can choose the user name they want to be displayed and can even put up a profile picture that has a translucent background surrounding it.
You’re able to follow other users and see what they are listening to. This means that your new music suggestions may be influenced by your friends’ playlists.
When you’re on the “Listen Now” tab, scroll down to ‘Made for You’ where you will find a playlist called ‘Friends Mix’. This playlist is updated every Thursday and is curated by the songs your friends have listened to the most during the past week.
And this is yet another way to be immersed in the ultimate music experience.
Sharing your playlists with other users is another social feature that they have introduced; not only that, you can even share your playlists on other social media platforms.
Apple Music has taken it a step further; when you’re searching for a playlist around an artist or topic, any public playlist will come up in the search results even if you’re not friends with the creator.
Any public playlist can be seen and used by everyone.
All these components are made public for other users to see and for web search results.
For more on this, check out our article Do Music Streaming Apps Learn What You Like? 7 Apps Checked
Is Amazon Music Considered Social Media?
Amazon Music is a subscription-based music streaming platform and online store.
It is solely focused on providing its users with the ultimate music experience through expert-curated playlists and ad-free streaming.
Amazon Music does not present as a social media platform, although they have some social interaction features:
You’re able to share your playlists on Amazon Music using the ‘Share to’ icon and you have the option to share via a link, email, Twitter, and Facebook from the desktop app.
On your playlist screen, under the ‘More’ option, there is a pop-up menu where you will see an option of ‘Customers Also Listened To’. Here you can view songs other people have listened to.
Amazon Music curates music for you into custom ‘radio’ stations; when you like a song and give it a thumbs up, it goes into your ‘Liked Songs’.
But it seems that Amazon Music understands that artists need to interact with their fans on the platform, so they have created a tool called ‘Spotlight’.
Spotlight allows artists with a fanbase of over 3000 on Amazon Music to post audio messages and stories for their fans that can be played directly within the Amazon Music visual app experience and via Alexa.
Artists can use Spotlight to:
- Announce tour dates.
- Tell fans about a new release and the creative process behind it.
- Simply shout out to their fans for their support.
Where can fans find these Spotlight messages?
Spotlights are easy to find at the top of an artist’s profile page in the Amazon Music app, and they can also be found in the activity feed. Plus, you can ask Alexa to play them for you on any Alexa-enabled device!
Is YouTube Music Considered Social Media?
YouTube Music has been upgraded and rebranded as Google Play Music, and unlike its main site, YouTube, it is not considered a social media platform.
You are currently unable to comment on YouTube music, which makes it more of an individual experience.
That being said, you can create a user channel on YouTube Music, similar to Artists’ pages, where you can set an avatar for your profile and a background image.
YouTube Music also allows you to share public playlists on any social media platform or via a link.
Unfortunately, you cannot view another user’s profile as yet, even when playing their playlist.
Recently, YouTube Music’s new update now allows users to share their favorite songs and playlists on Snapchat and Instagram.
Is Spotify Considered Social Media?
Spotify is not only the blueprint for music streaming, but it also has the most refined social functions of all music streaming platforms.
Spotify has always allowed user-to-user interactions, where users can follow other users and artists.
Spotify can be classed as social media, but what makes it stand out is the kind of content being shared on its platform.
Users can like other users’ playlists, as well as view the music their friends, are listening to.
You can even collaborate with your friends to create playlists suitable to your tastes.
As much as Spotify allows you to share your content with other users, it also gives you the option not to.
Another notable feature on the platform is Spotify Wrapped, where users get an annual recap of their listening habits, and can publish it on any social media platform.
Are you having issues with Spotify Wrapped? Check out our article with easy troubleshooting tips if you cannot see your Spotify Wrapped story.
Is Tidal Considered Social Media?
TIDAL may be fairly new to the music streaming industry, but it is making strides.
TIDAL users can share music on Instagram and Facebook stories, and they can even share 15-second clips of music videos on the same platforms.
They may not be a social media platform, but they have started integrating more social interaction functions.
Recently, TIDAL announced that users can now create a profile and choose a display name to share their favorite playlists with friends and family.
Here’s what Agustina Sacerdote, the Head of Product at TIDAL had to say:
TIDAL profiles is one of many new features we are building into TIDAL to help music fans share and engage with each other. Playlists are personal yet also how most fans discover new music with their friends and family. Profiles is TIDAL’s first step in making streaming more social and communal which is an inherently part of experiencing music.
From the looks of things, TIDAL will be adding more community-friendly features to its platform in the near future.
When is a Platform Considered Social Media?
The phrase “social media” is broad and includes a wide range of platforms.
As a result, it might be more challenging to answer the question “What constitutes a social media platform?” than one might imagine.
An interactive online service that enables users to share information or interests with other users is the most basic definition of a social media platform.
Various questions go into what makes a platform, social media:
- Is it interactive with other users, and is it community-based?
- Can users comment on or like the content shared?
- The Revenue Model – Do users share and consume content for free, while the platform sells ads to generate income?
- Will the platform sell user data for income?
Once a platform answers yes to all these questions, it can be considered social media.
Are Music Streaming Platforms moving toward more Social Interaction?
In the past, artists had limited access to their fans and could only interact with them through live shows.
Now, artists can have real-time conversations with their fans on social media, which has led to the rise of streaming services.
Music consumers use streaming services to immerse themselves in the experience and engage in music conversations, and social media also fuels music discovery.
Reports show that 2 out of 3 users discover new music on social media and then use music streaming to listen to their discovery.
Music streaming platforms are adding more social interaction features to their interfaces, perhaps to create a sanctuary for music lovers.
But one thing rings true, music streaming is becoming more social, and maybe one day, a music streaming site will be able to firmly bridge the gap between social media and music streaming.