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Spotify acquires music trivia game Heardle

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The streamer plans to use the Wordle-inspired game as a music discovery tool

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Spotify announced Tuesday that it has purchased Heardle, one of the many themed trivia games that cropped up in the wake of Wordle’s blockbuster success. Heardle is Spotify’s first game acquisition, and the company hopes it will play a dual role: in addition to keeping music nerds engaged, it can act as a music discovery tool.

“We are always looking for innovative and playful ways to enhance music discovery and help artists reach new fans,” said Jeremy Erlich, global head of music at Spotify. “Heardle has proven to be a really fun way to connect millions of fans with songs they know and love and with new songs and a way to compete with their friends as to who has the best musical knowledge.”

The game remains a standalone website for now. Users must guess the song being played within six tries (like Wordle) based first on the opening notes, then from hints of increasing length. When the answer is revealed at the end, it will link to the song on Spotify (previously, it linked to SoundCloud). Spotify says the game has millions of current players; the company declined to disclose the acquisition price.

Heardle’s Spotify integration is starting in the US, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand before expanding to other countries and languages. The company also plans to eventually integrate Heardle “more fully” into the app, though it did not say how or when that will happen.

Although Heardle might be small compared to some of Spotify’s other acquisitions, it seems like a smart move that hits on what users love about the streamer in the first place. You can listen to music basically anywhere now, but Spotify has always excelled at shareable features (playlists, Spotify Wrapped) that keep users engaged.