Pandora today announced a new integration with Instagram that will allow users to share to their Instagram Story their favorite music and podcasts. The feature comes well over a year after Spotify launched a similar integration with Instagram Stories, and only days after Spotify introduced sharing to Facebook Stories, as well.
In Pandora’s case, accessing the feature is also a quick and easy process — you just tap the “Share” button from the Now Playing screen in the app, then choose “Instagram Stories” as the destination.
A cover art card for the music or podcast will then be generated on your Instagram Story, which you can further decorate with text and stickers, as usual. You also can choose to send the story as a direct message to a friend or a group chat instead of all your followers.
Where Pandora’s experience differs from Spotify’s is what happens when that story is viewed.
When a friend taps the “Play on Pandora” button from the Instagram story, they can gain direct access to that content — even if they don’t have a Premium account. Those who aren’t paid subscribers will be able to view a short ad then gain access to both the shared content as well as a session of free, unlimited, on-demand music.
This is made possible through Pandora’s Premium Access ad solution, which rewards users with free, on-demand sessions for watching video ads.
That means Pandora’s take on Instagram sharing won’t just be useful to artists looking to promote their music, or fans looking to engage their friends — it also will potentially serve as a way to convert free users to paid subscribers after they get a free taste of what Pandora has to offer.
The feature also can be used to promote podcasts, which is a newer battleground between Spotify and Pandora these days. The former has spent on acquisitions and hosts a number of exclusive shows while Pandora is now benefiting from (new owner) SiriusXM’s talk radio programming and its own “Genome” classification technology.
Pandora says the Instagram Story-sharing feature is launching today for select users, and will support sharing songs, albums, podcasts and playlists.
It’s rolling out to a limited number of Pandora users to start, and will gradually reach the rest of the user base in the weeks ahead.