Spotify paywalls lyrics. Users recoil.

Spotify has placed a limit on free song lyrics which appear to the ad-supported, no-pay version of the app. Meant as an inducement to upgrade membership, and possibly succeeding to some extent, the shift is generating predictable upset.

The change does not come via an announcement to users. Instead, some users now receive an invitation to upgrade, instead of the scrolling lyrics, when they play a song which is equipped with lyrics.

Nobody would expect lyrics-loving users on the free side to be delighted, and they aren’t. Complaints are below. And a secondary theme among them is that the lyrics feature is often absent or broken to start. (RAIN News does not confirm any service complaint.)

“Isn’t this just charging for a service they didn’t make?”

“I’m hard-of-hearing w/ an auditory processing disorder. I use lyrics every time I listen to Spotify. So I’m infuriated to hear @SpotifyCares more about money than accessibility.” (A Premium subscriber.)

“Spotify making lyrics premium is the stupidents sh** ever because half the time they don’t even have the lyrics for the song.” (RAIN News does not confirm this.)

“Spotify putting lyrics behind a paywall seems really really mean.”

One user is trying to whip up support for a “review bomb” of Spotify which would threaten mass migration to different music apps.

Spotify said that the details of this feature change are variable, and can differ among users and geographies.

Brad Hill