Spotify is currently conducting tests on its Premium service by making changes to its offerings. Recently, a number of Spotify users who were on the free tier observed that they could no longer access in-app lyrics. Instead, they received a notification bubble stating, “Enjoy lyrics on Spotify Premium,” along with a sign-up link. Spotify explains that this move to place in-app lyrics behind a paywall is simply a part of its regular testing process.
“At Spotify, we routinely run a number of tests, some of which end up paving the way for our broader user experience, and others that are just important learning.”
CJ Stanley, Spotify’s director of global communications, told The Verge. “We have no further news to report at this time.” It’s possible that Spotify could remove the paywall and make the in-app lyrics available to all users again, but there’s currently no timetable for that.
This test comes at a time when Spotify has laid off employees from the podcast division, which the company has poured a lot of money into in recent years. And while it has raised its prices and actively sought to increase its paid subscribers, it is still losing significant amounts of money. Spotify’s decision to experiment with making lyrics a Premium feature shows that the company is looking for ways to get users to pay for the subscription. However, this may not be the best way to do so, as some users who have noticed the change will not be happy with it.
PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT MAKE LYRICS A PREMIUM THING PLEASE 🥲
— fatmancat869 (@fatmancat869) September 5, 2023
In-app lyrics were one of Spotify’s most requested features, and the company began testing them in 2019. In 2021, Spotify officially rolled out a feature that allowed users to see the lyrics to their favorite songs and sing along to them. This was available to all users – both free and premium versions and on all platforms. While charging for a previously free feature always brings negative feedback as people adapt, some users believe that this move would be discriminatory against people with disabilities.
Bit ableist of Spotify if this is true.. didn’t choose to be deaf and need lyrics to understand and enjoy music damn https://t.co/1CN7yK6Yim
— Emma (@EmLovesYUNGBLUD) September 5, 2023
This is very ableist @Spotify do better deaf and hard of hearing people need the lyrics/subtitles!!!! So do i because of my adhd. When I don’t look at someone I can’t hear them I have to look at them to hear them I need lyrics/subtitles too #spotify https://t.co/zbjjHelB6G
— 🪐⭐️LUKA⭐️🪐(They/He/Ze) (@Gothicglitterxx) September 5, 2023