How to make a shared, collaborative Apple Music Playlist


Playlists With Your Friends
Come together.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

A hot new feature in iOS 17.3 is Apple Music playlist collaboration. In advance of a party, road trip or any kind of themed event, you and others organizing the music can build a playlist together.

This isn’t to be confused with a similar feature, SharePlay, which lets people in the same room add songs to a live queue. SharePlay is more ephemeral; it lets others nearby play songs in the car or to a Bluetooth speaker without passing around your unlocked phone.

A shared Apple Music playlist is saved and can be replayed at any time. To find out everything you need to know about Apple Music playlist collaboration, keep reading or watch our quick how-to video

Apple Music playlist collaboration: How to do it the right way

Before you get started, you need a subscription to Apple Music. You can use our link here to sign up

Time needed: 30 minutes

Collaborate on an Apple Music playlist

  1. Update to iOS 17.3

    Before you can start your Apple Music playlist collaboration, you and all your friends need to update to iOS 17.3. Go to Settings > General > Software Update to get the update. After downloading, installation should only take a few minutes.

  2. Open Apple Music

    When opening Apple Music, you should see a splash screen showing you the new features. You can collaborate on playlists and react to songs with an emoji. Tap Continue.Creating a new Apple Music playlist called Best TV Show Theme Songs in Apple Music

  3. Create a new playlist or open an existing one

    Go to the Library tab and tap Playlists. (If you don’t see a Playlists item, tap Edit in the top corner, make sure Playlists is checked, then tap Done).
    Tap an existing playlist from the list or tap New Playlist… on top. Give it a name, add a picture, check whether you want it to be public on your profile and tap CreateInviting people to join an Apple Music playlist

  4. Add collaborators by tapping the People icon

    Tap the Invite People icon in the top right corner, right next to the menu. You’ll see a popup. The first time this happens, you can edit your public name and photo before proceeding.
    Check Approve Collaborators if you only want people you choose to add to the playlist; uncheck it if you want anyone with the link to be able to join.
    Tap Start Collaborating to invite people. You’ll see the standard share sheet. You can invite people over AirDrop, iMessage or even Mail to join you Apple Music playlist collaboration. 
    Alternatively, you can close the share sheet, tap the People icon again, and tap QR Code. Tell people nearby to open their camera and scan it.

  5. Tap Add Music to build the playlist

    Tap Add Music to add songs to the playlist. You can browse through your library or search for something. Tap on a song to preview it; tap + to add it to the collaborative Apple Music playlist. 
    You’ll also see Suggested Songs below. Just tap + on any of those to add it in. If none of them really fit, tap the Refresh button in the top to get more ideas.(left) Showing the emoji picker (right) Reacting to a song with a blue M emoji

  6. React to a song with emoji from the Now Playing screen

    On the Now Playing screen, you will see a new React button. Tap on that and you’ll see a list of emoji. If you want something other than the six it provides, you can tap + to see the full picker.
    Emoji like 💯 or ‼️ can show appreciation; alternatively, you can use ⚠️, ❌ or 🖕 to show dissatisfaction. Because you have every emoji available to you, you can also confuse your Apple Music collaborators with emoji like 🕒, 📃 and 🛅. Editing an Apple Music playlist

  7. Tap Edit to reorder or remove songs

    From the playlist, tap the menu in the top right and hit Edit. You can drag songs by the grabber on the right to rearrange them. Tap  and hit Delete to remove it. 
    You can also edit the playlist name and description or change the picture.

  8. Remove a collaborator or change settings from the People icon

    Tap the People icon in the top and swipe left on a person in the list to remove them. 
    Enable Approve Collaborators to prevent people you don’t know from joining your playlist. If your playlist was previously public, tap generate a new link to expire the old one. 
    You can also stop all collaboration by tapping Stop. The playlist will be converted into a regular one of your own. 

Read about other great Apple Music features and/or more new features in iOS 17.3. Or, if you need more brushing up, check out the 50 best features in iOS 17.


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