Spotify is letting artists explain their lyrics on your phone

why i have to quit spotify app music earbuds headphones
Denys Prykhodov/Shutterstock
Keep your eyes where your ears are. Spotify and lyric annotation site Genius have announced a partnership for a special playlist series entitled “Behind The Lyrics,” which shows you contextual information, artist quotes, and lyrics from about each song in the app as you listen. The first is “Behind the Lyrics (Hip Hop),” a curated playlist featuring songs from popular hip hop artists such as Rick Ross, Pusha T, and Future.

Usually, you have to be a pretty big tech addict to look at your phone every five seconds, but now you can just say you’re learning about your favorite song. Genius playlists show lyrics and explanations, funny anecdotes, and stories from artists. Some of the information comes directly from the artist, and some from the Genius staff. The special info appears as soon as each song begins and refreshes at roughly five second intervals.

Def Jam recording artist Pusha T sees “Behind The Lyrics” as another way tech can spur fan engagement in music: “Together we’ve found a way to bring my fans a deeper listening experience and raise the bar for songwriters.”

Fans will get deeper into lyrics, artists will have more room to explain their artistry, and, Spotify’s ad value could improve, which means more revenue, and potentially more money for artists down the road. Spotify introduced video ads back in September 2014, where users of the free tier could watch a video ad in exchange for 30 minutes of ad-free music listening. Eight months later, the music streaming service announced plans for a video streaming component.

With “Behind the Lyrics” there is no audible notification when the next piece of info is coming or what type of note it will be. So, in order to catch all of the info, you have to keep your eyes glued to your phone.

The “Behind The Lyrics” series will venture into the most popular songs next week with “Behind The Lyrics (Hits).” It’s currently only available to iPhone users and does not give app users full lyrics for songs, a feature that’s currently available on Spotify for desktop PCs since February 2015, thanks to a partnership with Musixmatch. The idea of reading the lyrics to music like the late, great David Bowie’s 9-minute Blackstar on iPhone sounds very appealing indeed.


From Jay Rock to Saba, these are the 50 best albums of 2018

We've spent the year listening to new albums, digging deep, and culling our master list into 50 favorites. From blockbuster releases to hidden gems, these are the best albums of 2018.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.

Jam out in style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.

From Paul McCartney to Mariah Carey, this is the best holiday music

Whether you're a fan of classic jazz standards or modern R&B masterpieces, there's something for everyone on our playlist of the best holiday music. Pour some eggnog and curl up by the fire, this one is sure to get you in the holiday…

Apple Music may sign up more exclusive artists with purchase of Platoon

Apple purchased London-based Platoon, which is a startup that helps independent musicians get discovered by major labels. The acquisition may help Apple Music sign up more exclusive artists.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ becomes the most-streamed 20th-century song

Queen's iconic Bohemian Rhapsody has become the most-streamed 20th-century song. Knocking Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit off the top spot, the British band's 1975 classic has now been streamed 1.6 billion times globally.

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.
Home Theater

Radiohead, The Cure, and more to join Rock Hall of Fame. Listen to their hits

Radiohead, The Cure, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, and more have been selected to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. Here are our favorite songs from the four artists' hit-filled careers.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.

The best new music this week: Bruce Springsteen, The Decemberists, and more

Are you looking for the best new music? Each week, we scour the internet to find the most compelling new releases just for you. On tap this week: Bruce Springsteen, The Decemberists, and Charlotte Gainsbourg.