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Spotify embeds functionality into premium subscription – customers are frustrated

Spotify embeds functionality into premium subscription – customers are frustrated

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Spotify makes a popular feature available to its customers for a fee. They are angry and venting their anger.

Munich – Whether it's streaming services for music or those for series and movies: many providers have now prevented their customers from sharing accounts between multiple people. Providers are constantly changing their offerings and making functionality that customers previously had to pay for available for free – or vice versa.

With music streaming service Spotify, customers now have to prepare for the fact that the popular feature is no longer available in the free membership. Spotify is now integrating song lyrics into its Spotify Premium service, according to an American technology news portal TechCrunch. This means that song lyrics can only be viewed by customers who pay for a premium membership.

Spotify is very popular with customers of the streaming service

Lyrics have been playing a role on Spotify since 2020. Since then, you can use the streaming service's search function to search not only for songs, artists, or albums, but also for the lyrics. Maybe they wanted to go to other music providers like this apple Open Music or Deezer. At the end of 2021, Spotify also introduced song lyrics display.

Initially this was only available as a test in some Asian markets. Because the function was very well received by Spotify users there, Spotify quickly released it to all users around the world. Spotify works with the Musixmatch app to display song lyrics.

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Spotify customers express anger over innovation: 'It's really annoying'

According to various reports indicating angry posts from users on the social news aggregator Reddit Spotify has made the change TechCrunch Certainly – but without giving the reasons for the decision. Instead, the company simply said that Spotify features may change over time between different markets and across different devices.

On Reddit, for example, one user complained about the streaming service's decision because it relied on the visual presentation of song lyrics: “Why did Spotify put the lyrics behind a down payment? This is really annoying because I'm mostly deaf and rely on the lyrics to understand the songs, but no “I can't get a job because I'm deaf so I can't afford the insurance premium.”

Lost quarterly sales from Spotify – is this the reason for the new offer?

Although Spotify has yet to provide any additional details about why the lyrics were moved behind a paywall, it's clear that the streaming service is trying to get more people to pay for a subscription. Spotify recently started offering high-resolution music videos to users with a premium membership.

Viewing the Spotify app on a smartphone (avatar) © IMAGO/Beata Zawrzel

Last quarter, the Swedish streaming service scored loudly TechCrunch More than 600 million monthly active users worldwide – thus higher than previously expected values. The number of users with a premium subscription rose to more than 236 million, representing a 15 percent growth compared to the previous year.

However, quarterly sales fell short of analysts' expectations of 3.72 billion euros, and instead amounted to 3.67 billion (equivalent to $3.94 billion). Spotify recently increased prices for its customers in the USA. It is still unclear whether this will also apply to users in Germany.

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The change to Spotify has been tested previously – does this put the streaming service at a disadvantage?

The change at Spotify was announced last fall. At this point, users who did not have a premium membership received text messages stating that a premium subscription was necessary to continue viewing the lyrics. Spotify said at the time that this was a test that would only be conducted in select markets.

It now remains to be seen whether this measure will encourage more users to take up a premium subscription. Hundreds of thousands of song lyrics can be found on sites like Genius.com or Songtexte.com, and apps like Genius, Shazam or Musixmatch make them easily accessible and available for free. (And the)