Spotify Brings Live Lyrics to the US — But This Is Only a Test

Spotify hacked again

Photo Credit: Alexander Shatov

More than seven months after bringing real-time lyrics to users in 26 (non-U.S.) countries, Spotify is officially testing live lyrics in America.

The Stockholm-based streaming platform recently confirmed that it’s testing on-screen lyrics in the United States – though only “a select number of users” will have access to the feature, per a Spotify spokesperson. It’s unclear how many individuals are currently enjoying the live lyrics function – for reference, approximately 83 million of Spotify’s 345 million MAUs reside in North America – though at the time of this piece’s writing, it didn’t appear as though any of the participants had posted about their experiences on Twitter.

Worth noting, however, is that many individuals are continuing to express interest in utilizing the core function. And in October of 2020, the streaming service started allowing users to search for songs based upon their lyrics – an option that had been available to Apple Music subscribers for about two years before that.

Additionally, Spotify has declined to specify whether the stateside real-time lyrics test will set the stage for a broader rollout. But the aforementioned statement appears to suggest that the feature’s reception during the trial could determine the fate of live, on-platform lyrics, which represent one of many innovation-minded features that Spotify has moved to develop and/or implement as of late.

A voice-activated device, tentatively called the “Car Thing,” is in the works at Spotify, for instance. The tool would afford listeners hands-free control of their music and podcasts while behind the wheel. Plus, evidence suggests that music videos, which have reportedly been in development for some time, are set to arrive on Spotify sooner rather than later. Livestreams are also rumored to be on the way for Spotify artists and users, and the platform debuted audiobook editions of nine public-domain works last month.

In terms of features and innovations that could arrive a bit further down the line, Spotify has quietly secured a series of interesting patents in recent months. One of these patents centers on a system that Spotify would use to identify a listener’s demographics before recommending “nostalgic” songs based upon his or her streaming history.

A more recent Spotify patent refers to an AI-powered function that would analyze and classify songs after gauging their lyrics and technical characteristics, while the technology described in a newer patent yet would allow the company to recommend music based upon one’s voice, by identifying the speaker’s environment and emotional state.