There is nothing that brings me greater joy than sharing music with my friends. I have friends who listen to the same kind of music that I do, and I also have some friends that listen to something entirely different, but nothing makes me happier than when they listen to a song I recommend or vice versa. Now that COVID has forced us to do a lot of self-isolation, one way I can stay connected with my friends is through music.
If you think about it, music streaming services have a lot of potential to transform into a virtual record store hangout. What better opportunity do they need than the one situation the whole world is mutually experiencing? While they’re not quite there yet, they do offer some features that allow you to be a bit more connected with your friends and the music they listen to.
Video streaming services like Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix added social features that allowed you to have a “watch party” with your friends no matter where they were in the world. This definitely helped us feel a bit less lonely on some days. If music streaming services followed suit, would it be as effective, too?
To get social on Spotify, follow your friends and take advantage of the Group Session feature. The Group Session feature allows everyone invited to a session to simultaneously listen to the song, however, it is still running on beta. To do this, play a song to get started. On the now-playing screen, you will see the speaker icon on the lower left corner of the screen. Tap that icon and a new screen will appear. At the bottom of that screen, you will see a big green button that says Start Session. Click on that button and invite up to 5 friends to listen with you. Alternatively, you can share a song/playlist/podcast to your friends by copying the link and pasting it anywhere you want, like Snapchat, Messenger, Instagram, or even Instagram Stories.
While Apple Music doesn’t offer a Group Session feature like Spotify, you can still stay connected with your friends by following them on there. Following a person on Apple Music allows you to see the music they’re listening to, playlists they’ve made, and people they follow. But just like Spotify, you can also copy the link to a song and share it with your friends.
Despite the many differences that we humans face, if there’s one thing that can all bring us together, it’s music.