Spotify is testing a new feature in its mobile app that provides real-time lyrics in sync with the music it is playing.
The feature, which is powered by Musixmatch, scrolls a song’s lyrics in time with the music. The company is testing it in select, yet unnamed international markets, which are said to include Canada, Mexico and Indonesia.
Spotify confirmed the testing of the feature in a statement to TechCrunch. A spokesperson for the company said, “We can confirm we are testing this feature in a small number of markets. At Spotify, we are always testing new products and experiences but have no further news to share at this time.”
On enabled devices, the lyrics appear in their own box underneath the playback controls, where both Behind the Lyrics and Storyline currently exist. The lyrics further display in full-screen mode as well.
A number of years ago, Spotify briefly had a similar feature in the desktop version of their app. After it was removed, many users requested its return. In fact, one such request, which was posted on the company’s user feedback community board, was upvoted more than 14,000 times.
But the company, at least until now, has refused to grant the request. It is not even certain that the feature will remain after testing has been completed, as the company often tests features that are eventually withdrawn.
The move comes in the wake of Apple adding real-time lyrics to its Apple Music app along with the launch of iOS 13.
While the feature in and of itself may not get users to switch from Spotify to Apple Music, it does offer a distinct competitive advantage. The latter is still trying to make up a nearly 2-1 advantage the former enjoys in paid users.
Amazon, too, has added real-time lyrics when music plays on Alexa-enabled devices.
So Spotify is basically copying Apple Music.