Spotify launches lyrics feature globally for free and paying users

Alex Castro / The Verge

Today, Spotify is finally rolling out its real-time lyrics feature globally, after previously only offering it in a limited selection of countries.

The lyrics themselves are provided by Musixmatch, which claims to offer lyrics for “over 8 million” titles. and will be accessible on basically every platform where Spotify has an app. This includes iOS, Android, desktop computers, gaming consoles, and smart TVs. The feature is available to both free and premium listeners.

As well as using the lyrics to sing along yourself, there’s also a social element which allows you to share lyrics to social media. Spotify says the feature will be available across the “majority” of its music library.

Here’s how to access the lyrics (and share them) as per Spotify’s instructions:

On the Spotify mobile app

Tap on the “Now Playing View” on a song.

While listening, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

You’ll see track lyrics that scroll in real time as the song is playing!

To share, simply tap the “Share” button at the bottom of the lyrics screen and then select the lyrics you want to share — and where you want to share it — via third-party platforms.

On the Spotify desktop app

From the “Now Playing” bar, click on the microphone icon while a song is playing.

Voila! You’ll see track lyrics that scroll in real time while the song plays.

On the SpotifyTV app

Open the “Now Playing View” on a song.

Navigate to the right corner to the “lyrics button” and select if you want to enable Lyrics.

Once enabled, you’ll see the lyrics in the “Now Playing” View.

Spotify’s history with lyrics is complicated. It previously worked with Musixmatch to display song lyrics until parting ways with the company in 2016. Since then, it’s offered a “Behind the Lyrics” feature thanks to a partnership with Genius. It’s an interesting feature that offers background information on songs, but it’s less useful for karaoke sessions. Although it’s offered lyrics in some markets, like Japan, the feature hasn’t received a widespread launch in western markets like the US.

With the introduction of the new lyrics feature, Spotify tells TechCrunch that it’s discontinuing its “Behind the Lyrics” feature.

Comments

The amazing thing compared to other Lyrics offerings (such as from Apple Music), this works across platforms, on desktop, TV, consoles, iOS, Android. That’s huge! It took them time, but it’s worth it.

Doesn’t time-synced lyrics on Apple Music also work on Android?

Apple Music doesn’t even have a Windows client, it’s not on the Xbox platform, et cetera. It’s missing a lot…

Not to mention that Apple Music Android client is trash. Too many bugs and weird issues. Play Store rating should tell enough. I used it for a month and never want to touch it again. Even if I was offered Apple Music for free, I would decline that and pay for Spotify myself

What are you smoking? Apple music has lyrics on every plataforms it runs on, even on Windows iTunes you can check the lyrics although not synced with the song like on other platforms.

On my iPhone the lyrics sure are in fact synched with the music.

Have been for years.

iTunes is SOOOO TRASH!

Why they don’t have a dedicated Apple Music app is beyond me. ¯\(ツ)

The "dedicated" Apple Music client for Mac is also iTunes, renamed. If they can’t be bothered for Mac, don’t hold your breath for better on Windows.

Lyrics? Yes, lyrics have been a part of iTunes for a while. Live synced lyrics with Apple Music are not available on iTunes though, I don’t think the web interface has them either (I haven’t used it in months because it was, and still is, garbage). Live lyrics are limited to Apple devices, Android, and some other devices running Apple Music.

Yeah. Can’t underestimate how amazing launching across all platforms at the same time.

Spotify have a very interesting approach to engineering – seems like it pays off.

https://engineering.atspotify.com/

I just updated to version 8.6.80 on iOS and I still don’t see lyrics. Is it going to be released on a rolling basis?

Most likely. It’s live on desktop for me

Bruh . . . updated Spotify on my Android and I have the same problem . . . hoping it is just due to it rolling out

Kill-close the app and start it again. Worked for me.

I still can’t see lyrics on my iPhone. iOS 15.1, Spotify version 8.6.80.

Considering that a lot of lyrics are missing (I guess due to rights from musicxmatch) I would not consider this as a really finished product

Yeah, sucks that they’re just now catching up to capabilities they had about a decade ago.

Wonder where Musixmatch gets their lyrics from. There are misspellings and bits marked with "[?]" in the first song I tried it on.

Musixmatch lyrics and syncing are crowdsourced, so people on the app can add lyrics and then sync lyrics word-for-word or line-by-line. Can be quite hit or miss.

Ah that’s what I figured.

Does it work on Echo Show devices?

I’ve had this feature for years on Apple Music on my iPhone.

Thats cool? Now all the people who have Spotify can enjoy lyrics with their music, which is the point.

Spotify had it years ago and lost it. Are you insinuating that Apple stole it from Spotify and has finally returned it?!

Are you insinuating that Apple stole it from Spotify and has finally returned it?!

Ummm – no. That’s just a weird thing to ask.

I have no idea if this is a service Apple Music buys from a third-party or if it is their own tech, but it’s been available on AM for years. 4? 5? I don’t remember.

I had no idea Spotify did not have this feature and was honestly surprised when I saw this article. My guess isn’t that it took them a long time to implement it, but that they didn’t want to spend the money on the feature.

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