Stories and Reels now account for the majority of content being consumed on Instagram. This means you should be posting on Stories regularly (we suggest at least five times a day) and Reels once per week (or more if you are capable!). Adding your actual music strengthens your brand and connects your fans and followers to what you sound like which is a crucial element for connecting the dots and capturing new fans.
Instagram’s In-App Music Library
Instagram has their own in-app Music Library. When you are uploading your release for distribution, make sure that you have selected Facebook & Instagram as a store to release to. This is the only way to get included in the library upon release. Tunecore & Distrokid have joined in a special partnership with Facebook to making getting your music onto Stories easier than ever! Read more about that here.
Once your music has been distributed, anyone can access your music to share on Instagram. This could be a fun way to have your fans also share your music in their stories. Many independent artists are frustrated, because this doesn’t automatically pull your music from any of the streaming platforms. We’ve had many artists ask us how to get their music into their library. In order to do this you must submit your music for inclusion. Here’s how…
Both Instagram and Facebook get their lyrics from a platform called Musixmatch. The music and lyrics you see in Stories are pulled directly from the Musixmatch catalog. To get your music in their library, first you’ll need to become a Verified Artist.
Here is a step-by-step guide to add, edit, and sync your lyrics to Musixmatch:
- Download the Musixmatch desktop app
- Sign in with the account you just made
- Connect your streaming service
- Play your song (From Spotify or Apple Music – the app will show the lyrics automatically)
- If your lyrics aren’t available, click “Add lyrics” and type them out by hand
- Review and Edit the lyrics to make sure everything is correct – and sync them
- You’re done!
Add your music to your story with the “music” sticker and start sharing it with your followers!
The Spotify & Apple Music Apps
One way to get your music on Instagram Stories is to share your music straight from the Spotify App on your phone. When you share from it your Story will display your cover art or “Canvas”, song title, and your artist name, along with a link which will show up under your username for fans to click which will lead them to your track on Spotify. Using the Spotify App unfortunately does not offer a way for your music to play during your story.
The same goes for the Apple Music App. When you share to your Story, it will display your cover art, song title, and your artist name, along with a link which will show up under your username for fans to click which will lead them to your track on Spotify. Using the Apple App unfortunately does not offer a way for your music to play during your story (deja vu)!
Using Your Smartphone
Getting your music on your Instagram Stories and Reels can be as simple as playing it in the background. Open Spotify or Apple Music and start playing your song through your phone speakers. Go back to the Instagram app, swipe over to story, and start recording. The microphone will pick up the song that you have playing in the background. You can add text to let people know the name of the song and where they can find it. This is a quick & easy trick to get your music heard.
You can also use apps like iMovie to create an Instagram Story or Reel video. You can use a still, or a moving video, and drag your music in to the background of the video. You can also take advantage of text options in iMovie or on Instagram Stories themselves. You will need to export the video as an .mp4, then AirDrop or send it to your phone and save it to your camera roll.
Once saved to your camera roll, open the Instagram app, swipe over to Stories, and click the little icon in the bottom left to open your camera roll. Click on the video and it will open in Instagram Stories for you to post.
“Add Music” App
There is an app for iPhone’s called “Add Music” – which we often use to add music to videos for social media. This one does cost $2.99 a week, but it is extremely easy to use.
Click the big orange + button under “Start a new project.”
Then choose the video you’d like to add your music to. A screen will appear for you to select your music. You can either record a voiceover, or click “My Music” to open your Apple Music Library.
You can choose a track based on different categories – as the Apple Music library always offers. Playlists, Artists, Albums, Songs, Genres, etc.
Once you choose your music, it will open your project. In order to edit, click on the blue track. You can cut it shorter, change the start time, add fade in/fade out, and even make the music loop. Once you’ve done that, click save and save it to your camera roll to use it in your Instagram Story or Reel!
There are a lot of different video editing apps out there that allow you to add music (ie – VideoShop), this is just our favorite one. It’s very easy to use and you can even AirDrop from your phone directly to another device in the app before having to save it to your camera roll.
Using Your Music on Instagram Stories and Reels
Now that you know how to get your music into Instagram’s in-app library, let’s talk about how to use it.
After you open Instagram Stories or Reels and take a photo or video (or upload one from your camera roll), swipe up. You will see the display of stickers that Instagram offers for their Stories. Click the “Music” sticker.
Next, start searching for your music in their search bar. Click on the song you’re looking for and it will open as an overlay on your Story or Reel. Tap on the sticker itself to change it. There are multiple options – some are cover art/song title display options, and others are font options for the lyrics (our favorite option)!
Note: With the 2021 Instagram roll-out of the Music sticker globally, there have been a lot of issues. Business accounts may only be able to access a small amount of royalty-free music (this comes from Facebook’s sound library). Good news is that there is an easy fix to this! Switch your account from a Business account to a Creator account and BOOM, problem solved! (Plus you still get things like insights so there is not much of a difference).
Want to learn more about how to utilize Instagram for your music career? Check our out Musician’s Guide to Instagram Stories & Highlights here.