Playlists and Spotify. They go together like Lennon and McCartney. From the music service’s expertly curated playlists to the ones assembled automatically, and, of course, the playlists that its users put together by the millions, it’s a critical Spotify feature. Which is why the company has gone to great lengths to make its playlists shareable. If you share a Spotify playlist with friends, there’s a good chance they’ll become Spotify listeners too. But how exactly do you share a playlist from Spotify, and what are the differences between mobile and desktop experiences? Well, grab your headphones and put on your favorite tunes — we’re going to show you exactly how it’s done.
Spotify is one of a few streaming music services that offer a free, ad-supported subscription plan. And while there are built-in limitations on these free accounts, you can still create your own playlists and share them with others. Premium Spotify accounts, of course, get full access to all of the service’s features — including playlist creation and sharing. If you’ve never created a Spotify account, check out our How To Use Spotify explainer, and you’ll be up and running in no time.
Being able to create playlists on Spotify is one of the service’s top features, but Spotify is also legendary for its vast collection of both human-curated and algorithmically created playlists and podcasts. Regardless of how a playlist came to be on Spotify, sharing it follows the same process. Here’s how to do it from the mobile app, the desktop app, and the web-based player.
To share a Spotify playlist using the mobile app, first select a playlist — from the Home, Search, or Your Library tabs. The first thing you’ll see is the name and the cover art of the playlist. Beneath the description, you’ll see a heart, a download icon, and three dots.
Click the three dots and a menu will open. You’ll also notice that there’s a colored bar immediately below the cover art that has what appears to be an audio wave graphic — a series of long and short vertical lines next to the Spotify logo. This is your playlist’s share code, a unique identifier that anyone with the Spotify app can use to immediately jump to the playlist. Just tap that share code image and let your friend scan it using their smartphone’s camera. Alternatively, you can save that screen to your camera roll and send it (or post it) to anyone you like. Of course, not everyone wants to give the Spotify app permission to use their camera, and as cool as this way of sharing is, not everyone can be bothered to do it.
For more sharing options, keep scrolling through the list under the playlist’s cover art until you find “Share,” which will likely be the second-to-last option. Tapping Share will bring up a new screen, this time with all of your sharing options. Keep in mind, these sharing options may not be the same on every device. Currently, on iOS, share options include:
- Instagram Stories
- Facebook Messenger
- Copy Link
- and a “More” option that uses iOS’ built-in sharing options like email and AirDrop.
Follow the prompts that each option gives you to share your playlist via these services. Keep in mind, they don’t all share the same way. Twitter, for instance, uses a URL link and automatically pre-populates a tweet with it. There’s no option to send a DM instead. Sharing via Facebook, on the other hand, sends an image to the Facebook app along with a customized “Play on Spotify” button, which you can then share to your feed or your Facebook Story. People who click on the button will be taken to the same web-based Spotify player as on Twitter.
There are two ways to share playlists in the Spotify desktop app. The first way is to locate the playlist you want to share in the Playlists section of the app’s left-column navigation. Right-clicking on any playlist in that section will bring up a contextual menu that includes a variety of available actions, including “Share.” Moving your cursor to the Share option reveals a second layer with all of your sharing options:
- Facebook Messenger
- Copy Playlist Link
- Copy Embed Code
- Copy Spotify URI
Similar to the mobile app, each of these sharing options works slightly differently. The most noticeable difference with the desktop sharing options is with the last two: Copy Embed Code and Copy Spotify URI.
Copying the embed code allows you to paste a chunk of HTML into a web page, or sometimes a social media site like Facebook. Doing so adds a self-contained Spotify web player to a pre-populated web page to play the playlist you are sharing. With the Spotify URL, you’re copying a smaller chunk of code, kind of like a web address or URL, but one that only works within the Spotify mobile or desktop apps. You could send someone a Spotify URI via email if you knew they had one of the apps on their device, but otherwise, the regular Playlist Link is a safer bet.
If reading this second process gives you deja-vu, it’s because the app’s desktop and mobile versions are very much alike-a thoughtful design feature. If you want to share your playlists from your desktop, here’s what you do: click the three-dot menu as you would on the mobile app. Select “share” and review your various options, then pick the one you want.
Now that we’ve provided you with several methods for sharing your Spotify playlists, you can begin sending and receiving music recommendations to your loved ones.
You might be feeling that creating and curating playlists has become a daunting task. For some great pro-tips on how to create a Spotify playlist for a special event, look at our guide: How to Make a Collaborative Spotify Playlist.
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