Spotify is testing a change that’s already proving to be controversial across social media. The company says that it is conducting a test that locks in-app lyrics behind a paywall, which means lyrics can only be accessed by Spotify Premium subscribers.
Historically, Spotify’s in-app lyrics have been available to anyone who uses the app, whether or not you subscribe to Spotify Premium. As part of this test, however, users are now being told via a popup message they need to fork over some cash in order to keep accessing lyrics: “Enjoy lyrics on Spotify Premium.”
In a statement to The Verge, Spotify’s CJ Stanley clarified that this change is “only a test” and that the company has nothing further to share right now.
“At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of tests, some of those tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning,” says CJ Stanley, Spotify’s co-head of global communications. “We don’t have any further news to share at this time.
In keeping with our standard practices, we’re currently testing this with a limited number of users in a pair of markets.”
Spotify’s statement is just vague enough to make you think this might end up being more than a test. Spotify users are also irritated by this change (even if it’s just a test), taking to social media to complain that this is only the latest example of the company taking a once-free feature and making them pay. The move also comes just a couple of months after Spotify raised prices across the board.
The fact that Spotify is testing putting lyrics behind a paywall shouldn’t come as a surprise. In its most recent earnings report, the company revealed that its losses had more than doubled to around $333 million during the second quarter of the year.
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