How to Put Music on Instagram – A Complete Guide

Written by
Ashley Hamer
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6
min read

What started purely as an app to share photos among friends has evolved into one of the most powerful tools for publishing multimedia content. In addition to now letting content creators record, edit, and publish videos all within the app, Instagram offers a function for adding music, too, replete with an extensive music library.

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How to put music on Instagram Stories

One of Instagram’s most popular features is “Stories,” in which users create and publish temporary photo and video content that disappears from their profile after 24 hours. Stories are a great way to share quick, memorable, fun moments, often stitched together back-to-back in a slideshow format. You can access Stories by clicking a user’s profile picture.

Adding music to an Instagram Story is fairly easy. It starts with opening Instagram on your mobile phone. It doesn’t matter if your operating system is Apple iOs or Android, the process is the same:

  1. Swipe the screen to the right, or simply tap on your own profile picture in the upper-left corner of your own profile.
  2. Select “Add To Your Story.”
  3. Once in the Story feature, tap the sticker icon at the top of the screen — a square-shaped smiley face that looks as though it’s being peeled away from the screen (like a sticker).
  4. Tap the “Music” sticker — a white box containing orange-to-pink gradient lettering that reads “MUSIC” alongside a three-bar icon. If you don’t immediately see it within the sticker library, you can locate it through the search bar at the top of the window.
  5. Tap on the Music sticker to display some recommended song options with a search bar at the top. Find the song you’re looking for and tap it to post it to your Story.
  6. You can adjust the slider bar at the bottom of the song window to choose which part of the song you’d like to add to your story (15 seconds maximum).
  7. You can tap on the song’s thumbnail album cover art to change the icon style or replace it with on-screen lyrics.
  8. Tap “Done” when you’re finished.
  9. Move the album art icon or lyrics anywhere across the screen by touch to situate them atop your Story content.
  10. Finally, tap “Your Story” in the bottom left corner to publish it to your profile. (Or keep it in the inner circle and only share it with “Close Friends.”)

When followers view your Instagram Story, your chosen song will automatically play over your photo or video content. If they want to see what song you’ve chosen, they can tap on the song title displayed beneath your username. A song window will pop up in another tab.

How to put music on Instagram with Spotify

Another way to add music to Instagram Stories is by using a plugin of the popular music-streaming service Spotify. Using Spotify, you can add a single song, an entire album, or even an entire playlist to your Story. Note that this option works only if you want to share a story clip of just the song, and don’t want to add your own content.

As with Stories, the process is the same whether you use an iPhone or Android mobile device, and it’s simple:

  1. Open the Spotify app on your phone.
  2. Find the song, album, or playlist you want to add to your Instagram Story.
  3. Tap the three dots on the right side of the song title.
  4. Scroll down and tap the “Share” icon.
  5. Select “Instagram Stories” from the drop-down menu.
  6. Your Story will now open with the song preloaded. From here, you can make timing adjustments.

If your followers have Spotify accounts themselves, they’ll be able to select the song on your Story and open it in their own Spotify apps.

How to add music to an Instagram Reel

Instagram Reels are short, standalone videos that can be displayed in a separate feed on your Instagram profile. A Reel differs from a Story in that you can choose to publish it in perpetuity, like a post on your grid. Like Stories, you can add music to Reels. Here’s how:

  1. Tap the “+” icon in the top right of the Instagram home screen.
  2. Select “Reels” at the bottom of the subsequent menu.
  3. Select the music-note symbol icon on the left-hand side.
  4. Choose the track you want to add to your Reel. You can search for a specific song using the search bar at the top of the screen.
  5. Adjust the slider at the bottom of the screen on your selected track’s page to choose which part of the song you’d like to add to your Reel.
  6. Tap “Done” in the top right corner.

It’s important to note that, unlike Stories, you can edit your Reels after the fact — including the addition of music.

What about adding music to Instagram posts?

It’s not technically possible to add music directly to your Instagram posts using any of its in-app functionalities. You can only add music to Stories and Reels (permanent video posts to your Instagram profile’s grid). So, if you want to add music to a video and upload it to an Instagram post, you have to edit it using a third-party app beforehand.

The good news is that there are plenty of third-party video editing apps that let you add music to your video content. When you’re finished, you can upload it all to your Instagram grid. You can add music to your Instagram post using Descript (find our guide to doing that here), but we don’t expect you to take our word for it, so here are a few of the most commonly used apps:

  • InShot. InShot is available on iOS and Android devices, and is best for exporting 4K-quality video. Because its audio features are limited, it’s best suited to shorter, simpler video posts.
  • iMovie. iMovie is Apple’s free video editing tool, available on mobile, laptop, and desktop devices. It allows you to attach songs to videos from the device’s Apple Music library.
  • VivaVideo. VivaVideo offers tiered services, both free and subscription-based, and works on Android and iOS devices. It has its own in-app music library where you can search for songs to attach to your video content.
  • Medio.io. Media.io offers a simple interface that allows you to add music to video instantly. You can export HD-quality video at no cost, without a watermark, and without ads.

What to know before adding music to your Instagram

Here are a few things to keep in mind when adding music to your Instagram posts:

  • Make sure Instagram and third-party apps are up-to-date. If you bump into any issues trying to add music, a quick update might solve the issue.
  • If your editing app requires music to be stored on the editing device, be sure you’ve already purchased the music.
  • Make sure you aren’t violating any copyright laws in your country by attaching the audio to your Instagram post using a third-party app.
  • You may not be able to use certain songs if your Instagram account is a “Business Profile.”
  • You may be living in a country where Instagram music features for Stories are not yet available.
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Written by
Written by
Ashley Hamer

Managing Editor at Descript. Musician, podcaster, writer, science nerd.

Descript is a collaborative audio/video editor that works like a doc. It includes transcription, a screen recorder, publishing, and some mind-bendingly useful AI tools.
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Ashley Hamer

Managing Editor at Descript. Musician, podcaster, writer, science nerd.

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