As it reportedly prepares to debut a new (and more expensive) plan, Spotify has started limiting certain ad-supported accounts’ access to on-platform lyrics, making the feature available only to paid users.
Ticked-off fans recently took to Reddit to weigh in on the Stockholm-headquartered company’s decision to put lyrics behind a premium paywall. According to one post, select ad-supported users are being greeted with a message reading “Enjoy lyrics on Spotify Premium” when attempting to navigate to the appropriate section of the platform.
However, the scope of the test is limited, per Spotify as well as comments from different ad-supported users, who say they’re still able to access the Musixmatch-provided lyrics. At the time of this writing, Spotify had released just a non-committal public statement on the matter, acknowledging an ongoing test “with a limited number of users in a pair of markets.”
“At Spotify,” relayed co-head of global communications CJ Stanley, “we routinely conduct a number of tests, some of those tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning. We don’t have any further news to share at this time.”
Of course, should Spotify eventually move to limit lyrics’ availability in all markets, it’ll be interesting to monitor the impact (or lack thereof) in prompting ad-supported accounts to transition to premium. As resourceful Redditors have already noted, though, lyrics can in any event be found quickly via Genius, LyricFind, or different platforms yet. (Musixmatch also operates a standalone app.)
More broadly, the lyrics-limiting test has kicked off after reports in late June indicated that Spotify was prepping a “Supremium” tier.
As part of this new and more expensive plan, listeners would have access to long-awaited HiFi audio, according to the noted reports, which further signaled that Supremium could go live in select markets sometime during 2023.
Meanwhile, Spotify was also said to be considering adding features to its core premium offering, which now costs $10.99 per month in the States and €10.99 per month in an array of European nations. Though the appropriate sources didn’t mention lyrics as one such feature, it was suggested that Spotify would start including monthly audiobook credits with premium in the U.S. in October.
Worth noting in conclusion is that the rollout of an enhanced premium package and a Supremium tier would follow Universal Music head Lucian Grainge’s claims that the above-highlighted Spotify price increases don’t go far enough – a position that Warner Music CEO Robert Kyncl appears to have echoed.
Earlier today, UMG and Deezer unveiled an artist-centric compensation plan, with the French streaming service touting the framework as “the most ambitious change to the economic model since the creation of music streaming.”