Spotify is working on Stories for Playlists

First look at Spotify’s unreleased Playlist Stories

By Jane Manchun Wong on 

A lot of Spotify playlists curated by artists are great. It lets artists share their favorite music with listeners. Currently, there are only a few ways to customize a playlist - cover photo, title, and description. These being static could often constrain the amount of context from being shared.

Fortunately and at last, Spotify is working on bringing Stories to Playlists, providing artists a way to connect with listeners through storytelling.

I came across the unreleased Stories features in a playlist on Spotify by looking into the code underneath the Spotify Android app.

In this unreleased Story, for example, Norwegian singer Sigrid was invited to a Q&A session about her favorite songs in her playlist called “Don’t Feel Like Crying”. For the context, Sigrid recently released a single under the same name of the playlist. The font used in this Story is called “Circular”, the same font that Spotify uses for their branding. This unreleased Story may be a collaboration Spotify did with Sigrid.

I masked the name and profile picture in the clip above because it identifies an actual Spotify employee, who probably works on this feature. There is also another unreleased Story featuring a Spotify employee, with their face and name on it as well. This Story is also a Q&A session.

Users could open the Playlist Story by tapping the profile picture in the middle top of the playlist page. It looks like the equivalent Story features on other social media platforms. A snippet of music is played after each Q&A, which notably does not necessarily start from the beginning of the music. Users could save the music to their library by tapping the Heart button.

From the unreleased Story that features Spotify employee, it would not be surprising if Playlist Stories is created for collaborations with artists.

The focus of this blog is to explore the Playlist Stories feature itself, not for revealing their identities. I would also like to add that I made this discovery last weekend while I was reverse-engineering the mobile app. This was a surprise to me too.

Spotify Playlist Stories are not only a product feature but also collaborations with artists. The time it takes to polish this feature varies, so does the collaborations. Experimental features come and go.

Spotify already producing an unreleased Playlist Story with Sigrid shows the commitment Spotify has on eventually releasing this feature, which will make the user experience of playlists on Spotify more interactive and fun.

Update 2019-08-22: Spotify has disabled access to the Playlist Stories, which indirectly confirmed the existence of this feature.

Jane Manchun Wong © 2019