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Written by Ramsey Brown.
If you read our previous article, you know how important video content has become on social media this day in time. Instagram in particular has been dominated by Stories and Reels, becoming the majority of content that is consumed on the platform. If you don’t already know, Instagram Reels are its short-form video feature that function quite similarly to TikTok. Reels can be up to 60 seconds long and you can trim clips or add features to the clips such as audio or music.
For artists, this is a perfect scenario and opportunity to promote your music and strengthen your brand. When music is added to Instagram Reels, Stories, or Videos, it has a better chance of connecting to the audience over solely being attached to a still photo. What’s even more beneficial about the Reels feature is that the videos you create can reach beyond your existing audience through Instagram’s Explore feed.
With the proper engagement, millions of people can view your posts and hear your music thanks to Instagram’s user-generated content — a fancy term for videos other people create using your music. These can reach new fans through an algorithmic process and all of your reels content will link back to your music catalog or Instagram profile.
Instagram has its own music library where users can easily search for a song and add it to their Reels or Stories on the app. However, not just any and all music appears in this library. Artists often find it quite difficult to get their own music added to Instagram’s catalog of songs — largely due to lack of information or knowledge about how to do so effectively.
Truthfully, it is really not that difficult to get your music on Instagram Stories and Reels. And we are going to explain exactly how it can be done throughout this article. There are a number of ways to do this using distribution sites like Distrokid or Tunecore, plus a few other options as well. Instagram has guidelines regarding their music and it’s important to understand these specifications before you can get your music featured on the platform.
If you are wanting to have your music available on Instagram Stories and Reels, so it can then hopefully be featured on the Explore page and become visible to the masses — keep reading because we’re going to tell you how to do this!
As we mentioned, Instagram has its own in-app music library. To have your music featured in this library, you must go through a music distributor service. 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 your song included in the library upon its release. Tunecore & Distrokid have joined in a special partnership with Facebook in order to make it easier for independent artists to get their music on Instagram.
This program covers Instagram Reels, Stories, and everywhere that Facebook uses music. Artists need to have an account with TuneCore or Distrokid in order to use this program. Whenever their music is played on Facebook or Instagram, artists will get royalties through these 3rd parties.
Once your music has been distributed, anyone can access your music to share on their Instagram Stories and/or Reels. However, many independent artists get frustrated with this method because occasionally, not all of their music will be pulled from their streaming platforms. Often artists will find that some of their songs appear on Instagram’s music library and some will be missing. In this scenario, you must submit your music for inclusion. Here is how you do it…
Both Instagram and Facebook get their lyrics from a platform called Musixmatch. This massive music catalog allows artists to manage and distribute their own lyric catalog on any international music channel – such as Spotify or Instagram
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. This will only take a few minutes and these instructions are laid out on their website.
Once verified, you can edit and sync your lyrics to Musixmatch to then be linked to Instagram Stories and Reels. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do this:
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.
Add your music to your Instagram story with the “music” sticker and start sharing it with your followers!
A less official but extremely simple method to getting your music on Instagram Stories and Reels is simply by playing it on your phone. Open Spotify, Apple Music, or go to the song file on your phone and begin playing it through your phone’s speakers. Go back to the Instagram app, swipe over to your story or reel, and start recording. The microphone will pick up the song that you have playing in the background.
Though this option won’t allow you to collect royalties if your song or reel is reposted, it is just a simple and quick trick to get your music on Instagram and have it heard by your audience. You can even add text to the story or reel to let people know the name of the song and where they can find it.
You can also use a number of different apps to make a pre-edited video to post on your Instagram story or reel. You can use a still photo or moving video and drag your music into the background of the video. You can also take advantage of text options within these apps 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. If you created the video on your phone then all you simply do is save it to your device.
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 along with your music attached to it. There are a ton of free or low cost video making apps available. Some of our favorites include:
Adding music to your Instagram Stories and Reels is one of the best ways to promote your music on social media today. With online video content becoming more and more prominent, it's now one of the most important and crucial tools for artists to use in order to get noticed in the overcrowded music industry.
Though some people find it difficult to get their music on Instagram, using these tips and tricks mentioned above will have your songs featured on the platform in no time. Never underestimate social media's ability to help boost your career — and the more features you take advantage of, the more advantage you will have over your competition.
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