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Spotify finally adds real-time lyrics support to its mobile apps

Spotify is finally joining up with Apple and Google in offering lyrics support in its music streaming app. After just over a year of testing in a handful of international markets, the company today announced the global rollout of lyrics support to all of its apps for both free and premium subscribers.

“Lyrics are one of the most requested features from listeners across the globe. So after iterating and testing, we’ve created an experience that’s simple and interactive — and even shareable. By partnering with Musixmatch, we’re bringing song lyrics to life through in-app access across the majority of our extensive library of tracks,” Spotify announced on Thursday.

Lyrics are available on the company’s mobile, desktop, web, and TV apps. Accessing them is done from the Now Playing screen, no matter which platform you’re using. If you’re on mobile, a swipe-up gesture on the Now Playing screen will show you scrolling lyrics that change as the song plays. For desktop, there’ll be a microphone icon visible on the Now Playing bar that does pretty much the same.

In the place of proper lyrics, Spotify had previously supported “behind the lyrics.” This feature provided lyrics interspersed with trivia about the song. It was nice to have for people who wanted to know what headspace their favorite artists were in when writing a certain song, but it was not as useful as simply having access to lyrics for a singalong with some friends. That feature is now being retired, the company confirmed to TechCrunch.

With proper lyrics support, Spotify is now on par with Apple Music, which offers the same feature, and ahead of Google’s YouTube Music, which has a static lyrics feature. It’ll be harder for any company to peel away subscribers from rivals as feature gaps lessen, so bundling via umbrella programs like Apple One and Pixel Pass will likely play a bigger role in swaying the undecided.

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Michael Allison
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