May 19, 2024

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Spotify is quietly moving song lyrics behind a paywall

Spotify is quietly moving song lyrics behind a paywall

Image credits: Jakub Purzycki/NoorPhoto /Getty Images

It looks like Spotify has found a new way to push its free users to a paid subscription: it's putting song lyrics behind a paywall. A different dimension Reports according to Frustrating posts From users on Reddit, the company is quietly confirming the change – but without a direct statement. Instead, the company simply told TechCrunch that Spotify features can vary over time, between markets and across devices. The response indicates that the change in lyrics may be more than just a test, but Spotify is not yet ready to make an official announcement about which markets will be affected.

However, there were some signs that Spotify was heading in this direction. Last fall, the company was spotted shutting down song lyrics for non-paying users. Free users who tried to access the feature will see a message that reads β€œEnjoy Lyrics on Spotify Premium.”

However, at the time, a Spotify spokesperson explained that the changes were “just a test” that was happening with a limited number of users in a “couple of markets.” Spotify is no longer referring to the changes as a test, though it's unclear why access to song lyrics isn't documented as a premium feature somewhere on its website β€” such as a page where users can Plans can be upgraded Or within its help documentation. This may be because the company is still testing the monthly lyric limit for free accounts; Free users a report See messages telling them that every time they tap Show Lyrics, it counts toward the new limit.

Spotify hasn't provided any further details on why it's now banning song lyrics, but it's clearly an attempt to push more people into the paid tier. Last quarter, the company reached over 600 million monthly active users, exceeding estimates, and paid subscribers reached 236 million+, representing 15% year-over-year growth. However, quarterly revenues were It missed analysts' expectations With a value of 3.72 billion euros, compared to 3.67 billion ($3.94 billion) instead.

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It remains to be seen whether banning lyrics will prompt more people to sign up. Lyrics are easily and freely available across the web and in other apps that work alongside Spotify, like Genius, Apple's Shazam, or Musixmatch, for example.