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Spotify strips lyrics from free tier for some users in new ‘test’

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Spotify’s person base is rising faster than ever, however its paid-subscriber development isn’t holding tempo with free listeners. That could be why it’s exploring pushing lyrics behind the paywall.

Over the previous few days, the music-streaming firm made waves by locking down lyrics for a few of its non-paying customers. For these choose free-tier listeners, Spotify shows a message that reads: “Enjoy lyrics on Spotify Premium.” 

This variation is “solely a take a look at,” Spotify PR govt CJ Stanley advised the Verge. Stanley added in an electronic mail to TechCrunch that the corporate is “at present testing this with a restricted variety of customers in a pair of markets.” Spotify declined to share extra information as to why it’s conducting the take a look at.

But it surely’s no secret. Certain, Spotify has gone to bat for its free-with-advertising tier, claiming (amid a spat with Taylor Swift) that its freemium model is the future of the music industry. But, Spotify hasn’t given its free tier a lot love in recent times. By our depend, its final huge overhaul was in 2018

With its most recent earnings report, Spotify advised buyers that month-to-month customers of its ad-supported tier had rocketed up 34% over the past yr to 343 million. The corporate’s paying month-to-month listeners additionally grew throughout that interval, however to a lesser diploma — up 17% to 220 million.

That’s nonetheless development, however Spotify shouldn’t be worthwhile, and its chief competitor (Apple) is the most-valued firm on the earth. Spotify stays extra well-liked than Apple Music, but clearly the corporate must persuade extra of its free customers to pay up. Whilst Spotify invests in ad-related products and adds some freebies, the proof is in its income; Spotify reported greater than €2.7 billion in premium (aka paid-subscriber) income in Q2 2023, and simply €404 million in ad-supported income throughout the identical interval.

Will this no-free-lyrics take a look at stick round? Stanley declined to share extra particulars on whether or not the change would turn into everlasting. The corporate appears to be performing a temperature test by limiting the scope of the take a look at, and in any case, free lyrics are nonetheless fairly simple to search out on-line.

Spotify’s inventory worth is nowhere close to its all-time highs, when the inventory commerce north of $300 per share in early 2021 (to be honest, the identical will be mentioned for loads of different tech firms, too). The agency has seen its share worth tick again up this yr, nevertheless. The inventory closed right now close to $160 per share — up by greater than 94% from the beginning of 2023.

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