If you thought stories were relegated exclusively to photo-sharing apps like Snapchat and Instagram, you’ll have to think again. This week, music database company Genius launched its own version of the bite-sized content format. Predictably named “Song Stories,” these short little clips bring together artist interviews with YouTube content including concert footage, music video clips, and playlists. And as you play the story, you’ll see various behind-the-scenes details, and have the option of interacting with the content as well (for example, swiping up to watch an interview, tapping and holding to pause a card, and more).
In many ways, users will likely find the interface similar to existing story formats. But don’t expect to find any cute animals or cooking how-to’s on Song Stories — rather, Genius is focusing on the music. And it’s depending quite heavily on YouTube to deliver that music.
“At YouTube we’re working every day to push the envelope and find new ways to enhance the overall music experience by better connecting artists and fans,” said Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s Global Head of Music, in a related statement. “This project with Genius provides a more immersive way to explore music — it’s the perfect example of innovating in pursuit of this goal.”
Ilan Zechory, Genius’s co-founder and president, echoed these sentiments, adding, “Genius and YouTube, the two biggest sources of musical deep cuts and rabbit holes on the planet, are natural collaborators on this mission.”
Of course, Genius doesn’t have an exclusive working relationship with YouTube by any stretch of the imagination. The company has already teamed up with YouTube competitor Spotify for its “Behind the Music” feature, in which Genius provides lyrics and the backstory on certain songs as they play on the streaming platform. This feature, however, is not available for all songs, and similarly, not all bands and artists will be featured on the Song Story experience either. At least, not at the start.
As it stands, you can check out the currently available Song Story gallery on the Genius website, where artists like Lil Uzi Vert, Cardi B feat. 21 Savage, Joy Division, and Troye Sivan are prominently displayed.
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