Gen Z's obsession with sharing the music

Chandler holding ur favorite album, Bill Clinton memes and a chat with Melody You, creator of @albumreceipts.

By Rohan Kumar , written on June 25, 2020

From The Music Desk

Recently Spotify announced Group Sessions, a feature that allows you and your friends to share control of the music being played.

Countless people have been waiting for this feature and if you go to any hackathon there’s bound to be a few students making some version of this. (I’ve had multiple friends develop products for class projects and design portfolios) We’ve seen, and even early versions of TTYL that I worked on included sharing music.

There is a real social element of sharing music and no doubt that there is a potential market for brands and companies to integrate into this.

It’s basically impossible to open Instagram and not see one song or album shared on someone’s story. This got me thinking about the ways I’ve seen our generation share music. Today I wanted to show some examples of followings built around this and pose some thoughts on how to capitalize it.

Firstly, the accounts are hyper-specific.

Chandler from Friends cradling an album you love - it rapidly started to flood IG stories late last year. The page has gained a little under half a million followers but now sees low engagement with an occasional viral post. The idea for this page isn’t super unique, I even found a 2-year-old Reddit post on r/PhotoshopRequest asking for the photo.

This page follows a specific format of generating the identical meme with one difference. Many pages started to pop up based around music especially after this blew up (Drake from Drake and Josh, The Pope, etc).

But this leaves no stay-factor.

These images are extremely sharable but there isn’t really any benefit in following at after a point, you can just scroll through the 1350 posts searching for your favorite album and share it on your story. For the Chandler page, they tried to monetize it using Patreon, which might have worked when it was trending virally, but now the Patreon is pretty much dead.

Similarly, photos of Bill Clinton holding vinyl records plagued IG stories mid-April this year. Due to social distancing, many challenges started appearing on IG storiesOn this website, you can select the albums and create an image. The meme is from 2012, but no page on Instagram has garnered a following.

The Future is personalized and hyper-specific.

Meet Melody You, an advertising grad from BU. She’s the creator behind a sharable Instagram page titled @albumreceipts, where she creates order-like receipts with the details from a specific album. 

@albumreceipts takes everything about what I’ve said above and takes it to the next level. I was so excited when one of the posts appeared on my IG stories and started to message the person. Next thing I knew, Melody and I exchanged some messages and hoped on a zoom call.

She told me it started out as a quarantine creative project for fun and didn’t think too much of it, mostly making albums for her friends and herself. Now 11 days later, the page has over 50K+ followers and has been shared by Ariana Grande, Smino, Kasey Musgraves - just to name a few.

She mentioned that both the Chandler and Bill Clinton album memes inspired her, as well as similar Reddit posts, but she didn’t have any real expectation it would catch on. By continuing the hyper-specific focus seen in those pages, the novelty of her content is what took to it to the next level.

The stay-factor is based around her personalization. Where anyone could make the memes above and although she might not be the first to make an album receipt, her personal touch on each post makes it so much more distinct. Her Followers have been printing out select posts for their phone cases, asking her to make posters, and requesting for countless albums.

Melody mentioned she’s in the process of monetization and wants to donate the proceeds to Non-profits supporting marginalized communities during this time of uncertainty. Check out the page here.

This was originally posted by Rohan Kumar on substack.