Spotify just started testing its live lyrics functionality in the US

Missing out on all the time you used to spend crammed into tiny karaoke rooms, listening to live music until three in the morning? So do we, but Spotify might have something to help you with your impromptu chants. As of this morning, the company is currently testing a feature that displays lyrics synced with your music in the US.

Don’t be surprised if you never see these live lyrics appear, however. Spotify is a huge fan of A / B testing, so only a subset of its users will actually be able to use the feature. Although the company has stated that on-screen speech is among its most requested features, the purpose of this exercise is to measure the demand for speech in the company’s US user pool. Spotify declined to comment and asked how many users it plans to make the feature available, but provided the following statement:

“We can confirm that we are currently testing our lyrics functionality to a number of users in the United States,” a spokesperson told Engadget in an email. “At Spotify, we run a number of tests on a regular basis in an effort to improve our user experience. Some of these tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience and others are just for your convenience. important learning. We have no more news to share at this time. “


Spotify has toyed with the idea of ​​displaying lyrics alongside music for years, starting with a partnership with Italian music data company Musixmatch which – for whatever reason – ended in 2016. After that, the company switched to a more informative approach with the help of Genius; When supported songs were played, the lyrics appeared in timed cards alongside trivia snippets and historical context. These “Behind the Lyrics” cards remain available to this day, but we understand that if Spotify chooses to continue with their lyrics live in the US, the Genius alternative will be discontinued.

It’s worth noting that Spotify’s “new” approach to lyrics – which is again powered by Musixmatch – isn’t really that new. The company has been testing the functionality in markets around the world for years, and officially launched it in 26 markets – including Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Thailand, India and more – around mid 2020. More recently, live lyrics have also been made available to users in South Korea when the service launched there earlier this month. At the risk of sounding a bit obvious, however, not all test markets have access to the feature at scale. Spotify, for example, performed a similar test in Canada before stopping it around June 2020; to our knowledge, the feature has never reappeared.

The move puts Spotify on a par with competing services such as Apple Music and Deezer, and should help the company not lose its competition to more feature-rich rivals. Then again, Spotify seemed to be doing well even without support for live lyrics – the company’s stock price has more than doubled since January 2020, and recently. hit a record high last month.

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