May 30, 2024

Image for article titled Spotify will now make users pay for its lyrics feature

Photo: Dilara Irem Sancar/Anadolu (Getty Images)

Spotify quietly decided to make users pay for its formerly-free lyrics feature. Reddit users flagged the change this week, and Spotify implicitly confirmed the change to TechCrunch without giving a direct statement.

“This is really annoying since I’m mostly deaf, and I rely on the lyrics to understand the songs,” read one Reddit user’s post.

“Spotify without the premium plan is quite unusable,” another commenter wrote.

Spotify Premium got more expensive this past year, after a long period without price hikes. The company raised the price of a Premium membership in 2023 to $10.99 a month, its first increase in 12 years. And more price hikes could be coming, per a Bloomberg report. That didn’t stop the company from adding a record number of subscribers in 2023, and Spotify has continued to make gains this year. The streaming giant saw its global Spotify Premium subscribers increase 14% to nearly 240 million in the first quarter.

Spotify reported revenues of about $3.9 billion in the first three months of 2024, beating Wall Street’s expectations after a year marked by three rounds of brutal layoffs.

Still, the company said it was hoping to add more subscribers than it did during the first quarter. Putting free tools like its lyrics feature behind a paywall could be the company’s way of converting more free users into paying subscribers. TechCrunch reported that Spotify began testing the strategy last fall, telling some users who tried to access lyrics for free to “enjoy lyrics on Spotify Premium.”

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