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How to Use Social Listening Feature on Spotify and Apple Music

Listening to music in the modern age has become a strictly intimate affair, but it doesn’t have to be lonely with the latest social listening tools. Nowadays, more people prefer to use headphones or earphones to listen to music. Since the introduction of MP3 players, earbuds and headphones, listening to music has increasingly become a private affair rather than a social event you spend with friends. But as luck would have it, music streaming companies have incorporated new features to allow users to listen to music with friends and family online.

 

Social Listening Apps
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What is Social Listening?

The concept of listening to music with your peers and family is not novel. This occurred way back when the gramophone was first invented. However, it was not until the advent of modern technology in the form of earphones, MP3s, cheap smartphones, and computers that listening to music became an entirely intimate affair. The invention of personalized earphones is particularly important in this trend because, for the first time in history, people can listen to music anytime and anywhere. The solo listening trend is very much alive and well, but people are still looking for avenues to combine the music experience with socialization. This is where social listening comes in.
You may have already heard about social listening before, albeit in a different context and for a different purpose. Companies and marketing firms commonly employ the term for the process of monitoring social media for mentions of specific brands, products, and services. The purpose is to find out what customers are saying about them online. They use this data to improve their product or change their marketing efforts.
However, you can put that definition out of your mind when it comes to streaming services like Spotify Music. The definition we have in this context is much simpler than that. Social listening in this context refers to the art of listening to music at the same time. And we don’t mean pressing the play button at the same time; it’s more about having an online channel where people can listen to music together.

How to Activate Social Listening on Spotify and Apple Music

Social Listening Apps
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There are a couple of ways to get to external social listening apps via Spotify or Apple Music. However, we have to reiterate the fact that you need an account from either of the two before you can sign up for the social listening app/website. It’s also worth issuing caution when it comes to downloading unsafe apps because not all of them are safe.
Some of them might contain viruses, while some are designed to infect your computer upon download. In that case, we highly advise that you read about the app first and ensure its credibility before downloading it.  In any case, we’ll show you how to start group listening sessions using Spotify or Apple Music apps.

 

Social Listening with Spotify

Spotify
Photo by spotify via spotify

 

Spotify is the most popular music streaming option in the world, with over 144 million subscribers as of 2020.  This is a rather astounding number of users for a music streaming app, but it only goes to show how much people all over love their music. And speaking of love for music, did you know that you can download songs straight from Spotify? You can do that if you have a Spotify Premium account, and here’s how to download Spotify music straight to your device.

We’re also thankful that they found a way to incorporate social media aspects into the app and that users can now converse and share music through the social listening feature. The feature is a little rudimentary at this point, but we can’t wait for Spotify to improve it further in the future.

How to activate social listening on Spotify:

  1. Open the Spotify app from your phone or computer. Select a song to play. Click on the Connected Devices icon on the lower right corner of the screen. Note: This icon looks like a computer screen behind an iPod.
  2. Select the “Start a group session” option underneath the Airplay or Bluetooth button.
  3. Select Invite Friends. Here you can:
    1. Share URL link with affiliated social media websites.
    2. Choose Copy Link to send through other social media apps.
    3. Get a Spotify code that your friends can scan with their phones (if physically present).
  4. Ask your friends to open the link that they receive, and they will automatically become part of the group. Anyone who becomes part of the group can add or subtract to the playlist, and if they want to leave, they can click on Leave Session. If you are the moderator, click on End Session to shut the session down.

 

Social Listening on Apple Music

Apple Music
Photo by apple via apple music

 

Apple Music is another highly in-demand music streaming app in the market. As per 2020 reports, the company has over 72 million subscribers worldwide. Like Spotify, Apple Music also came up with a social listening feature that allows users to connect with friends and play music in real-time. The feature is simple enough to understand at this point, but it’s enough to facilitate remote listening.

 

How to activate social listening on Apple Music:

  1. Open the Apple Music app.
  2. Select the Listen Now option.
  3. From the upper-right corner of the screen of the Listen Now screen:
    • For IOS devices: Click on the Photo icon.
    • For Android devices: Tap on the More button.
  4. Click on the “See What Friends Are Listening To” option.
  5. Follow the steps in creating a username, then find and follow your friends to share your playlist with them. Alternatively, you can join an existing playlist made by your friends.
  6. Click Done.

 

Other Apps for Social Listening

Other Apps for Social Listening
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Spotify and Apple Music both are both great options, with the largest collection of songs and the most devices compatible with both software. In fact, it can be quite a struggle to have to choose which service to use since they’re both so amazing. If you still haven’t made up your mind about Spotify or Apple Music, let us break them down for you.

But then again, there are other options out there that deserve equal attention. Some of them offer features that you won’t find with these two, such as being able to start your own radio channel or streaming video with friends. We’re listing down the best alternatives for you to try. Take note that we have excluded apps that require devices to be within a range since we’re only interested in apps that allow remote listening. In any case, here they are:

 

 

1. JQBX

JQBX
Photo by JQBX via JQBX

 

JQBX  (pronounced “Juke-box”) is a multi-platform music streaming website based in New York City. It’s one of the most trusted streaming options worldwide, and it’s great for streaming music anywhere you are on the globe. JQBX.fm consists of private and public virtual rooms. The rooms are something that you can create yourself for your friends or simply join into for its fun.

Every member of a listening room is given a chance to be a DJ, which is why users need to wait for a DJ queue to be able to choose a song. Alternatively, users who don’t want to take a turn as a DJ can simply listen to the music and spectate wonderfully. As a spectator, you have the right to rate each song that comes up on the playlist with either a Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down rating.

Access to JQBX.fm is completely free, but you will need a pre-existing Spotify account to sign in to the service. If you’re wondering why that’s because JQBX needs to tap into your Spotify account to give you access only to music that you are already entitled to. JQBX available mainly as a mobile app for Android and IOS devices. There’s also a web version of the software that you can access using any web browser.

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2. Vertigo Music

Vertigo Music
Photo by vertigo music via vertigo music

 

Vertigo Music is a new social listening app with very visible social media features. As you would expect from the software, it lets you create a virtual room where you can tap into your Spotify playlists and then have your friends listen in. But in addition to listening to music with friends, you can also start your public channel for strangers all over the world to listen to. Think of it as a podcast platform since the concept is very similar. Users can record the video or take a photograph before choosing a song, and vice versa. Once the video and the song parts have been patched together, users can now upload their creation to social media sites like Facebook or Instagram.

And like most social listening tools, Vertigo is also equipped with chat and file upload options for images, audio, and video. The chat is especially useful for voting on the lineup of songs, and you can also upload any image or video that you want at any time. The program also has a special Discover Page that helps users find their favorite artists, influencers, curated playlists, and more. You can also head to the home screen which contains a list of trending live sessions that are running in real-time.

Access to Vertigo is completely free, but you will need to link your existing Spotify account to be able to sign in. Also, note that the app absolutely needs to tap into your Spotify or Apple Music account as a playlists and music source. Vertigo is available primarily as a mobile app for Android and IOS devices.

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3. Rave

Rave Music
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Rave is a multi-media messenger app that lets users remote stream video and audio content. The program essentially connects multiple devices onto a video streaming app like Netflix or YouTube. It’s also compatible with cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google. The app is focused mainly on video content, but we include it here since there is also plenty of music video content on these video streaming sites.

The app is simple and easy to use, but you need to connect your streaming accounts to play content. There’s also a chat function where users can chat with friends and loved ones. And of course, you can also sync music files onto the app, listen to them in real-time with friends online, and create mashups like a true DJ. Rave is available as a mobile app that you can use for free, but there are advanced features that require a paid subscription.

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4. Discord

Discord
Photo by discord via discord

 

Discord is a free application that people use to create communities that consist of discrete collections of channels called servers. Creating a server using Discord is absolutely free, and the moderator also gets to control who can get into the server and what they can do. The platform’s easy to use and customizable interface made it very popular in the gaming community.

There are a variety of ways to play music on Discord, but we’ll focus on the most common methods. The first is by using a bot, and the second is by linking your account to Spotify. For those wondering, bots are artificial intelligence (AI) programs that can perform a number of automated tasks, including welcoming new members or moderating content. It can also be used to add entertainment content such as music, memes, and games.

When it comes to music bots, the most popular options are Rhythm, Groovy, and FredBoat. Each of these bots has its own websites where you can read about them and retrieve the service. Check out this list of the best discord bots to include in your server. Another way to play music within your server is by linking your Spotify account. The Spotify plug-in can be found under the Connections tab within User Settings.

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How Do Social Listening Apps Work?

How Do Social Listening Apps Work?
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Social listening has been on the rise lately. And we are also seeing an increase in the number of software that allows people to sync and listen to music in real-time. Most of these apps provide a private space online for people to create playlists. They can share these playlists with their friends and family in real-time. However, most of these websites require users to have an existing account with any of the popular streaming apps. That may be from the likes of Spotify or Apple Music. Most social listening applications are free with a Spotify or Apple Music account. Using these apps is also a great way to maximize your existing music subscriptions.
 
Once you’re in, most websites will let you create a listening room. The room will have a unique URL link that you can send to others. And just like in Zoom, the interface lets you know who is present in the listening room. And you can communicate with them through a dedicated chat. There are also video and audio functions that allow you to be heard and seen by the members of your group.  You can also create your own public listening room and become a DJ. Public rooms are often accessible to anyone in different parts of the world. So it’s also a great avenue to get to know new people. If you’re not up for the limelight, simply join other listening rooms then leave a rating for the DJ.
 

What are the Potential Benefits of Social Listening?

What are the Potential Benefits of Social Listening
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Social listening apps are a great way to bring people together despite physical and geographical restrictions. Let’s face it: people can’t always spend time together due to our schedules. In our increasingly globalized world, more and more families and friendships are living apart. Then there’s the rest of us who are still restricted by the pandemic. Clearly, the only way they can communicate is via technology such as Skype and Zoom.
These apps are widely available and easy to use, but none of these options offer musical experiences that can liven up online meetings and get-togethers. For those already bored with traditional methods of communication, social listening apps can be a refreshing development. And the best part is, you don’t have to give up those ultra-private and amazing noise-canceling earbuds while you’re at it.

Final Thoughts on Activating Social Listening on Spotify and Apple Music

Other Apps for Social Listening
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Listening to music is always more memorable with company, but it’s not always possible for people to be together. This is why we already have apps to ease the pain of geographical distances with Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and many other social media platforms. But as efficient and useful as these software may be, they are not designed for streaming with people who are not physically present. If you want something more engaging and exciting, social listening is the way to go.

These platforms not only allow you to communicate with friends, but also offers an unlimited gateway for remote jamming sessions with your friends from other places. These apps are useful for everyday use, but they’re also particularly useful when you’re in a long-distance relationship or away from home. Keep in touch with your loved ones and make each moment count with the right social listening software.

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