Spotify finally, finally brings real-time lyrics to its apps

Spotify finally, finally brings real-time lyrics to its apps

Users have been requesting this feature for years

When listening to music, we often find ourselves singing along. However, sometimes we switch to humming because the lyrics aren’t all familiar to us. When comparing Spotify to some other music players, it always had an obvious disadvantage — lack of a lyrics view. Fortunately for all of us, this is no longer going to be the case. Starting today, Spotify is rolling out real-time lyrics to all users worldwide, across its supported platforms.

According to TechCrunch, the music streaming giant has started rolling out this feature on its apps today. Free and premium users on mobile, desktop, consoles, and select smart TVs will be able to take advantage of it. The feature had been requested for years on Spotify Community — where users submit feature requests, ideas, feedback, and more. The Swedish company has finally listened, and we’ve already spotted this feature on some of our phones.

You can now access lyrics on mobile by swiping up from the Now Playing screen. Users will also get to select lyrics they want to share on social media or other third-party apps. However, there are conflicting reports regarding the sharing feature’s availability. It’s also worth mentioning that some songs don’t support lyrics — expectedly. The app displays tags on songs — which indicate whether the feature is supported or not — as shown in the first screenshot.

Spotify has been offering lyrics in India, Latin America, and Southeast Asia since last year, after initially testing it in 2019. This deal with Musixmatch has now expanded to cover all markets where Spotify is available. Prior to that, the company had a Behind the Lyrics feature — powered by Genius — which included some fun facts about artists and certain lyrics. While some could find it informative or entertaining, a lot of users don’t care. People want to sing along, and for that they need full, real-time lyrics, not trivia.

The company rolled out support for blocking other users last week, in addition to worldwide podcast subscriptions yesterday. It’s good to see music streaming services catching up with each other and pushing the competition to do more — it’s all to users’ advantage. Apple Music has had real-time lyrics for a while now, but it arguably can’t compete with Spotify’s music recommendation and personalization algorithms. In my opinion, by releasing real-time lyrics, the Sweden-based company is now by far a better choice than Apple’s service. That’s assuming you’re not subscribed to the Apple One bundle or deeply rooted in its ecosystem.

When comparing Spotify to YouTube Music, though, the competition gets more complicated. YouTube Music offers lyrics for some songs, but they’re not time-synced like those of Spotify and Apple Music. However, the Google-owned service has an advantage that none of the other rivals (that I know of) can match. It includes covers, remixes, and unreleased tracks that users can’t find elsewhere. I personally find this as YouTube Music’s biggest selling point.

As someone who has used all three services actively, I can confidently say Spotify is my favorite. Its intuitive UI and UX, features, algorithms that surface indie artists and little-known gems, and music catalog are superior. However, as someone who is stuck in Apple’s ecosystem, Apple One makes more sense to me. That’s not to mention the better integration between Apple Music and the company’s operating systems. Otherwise, I would’ve switched back to Spotify following this real-time lyrics announcement.

Which music streaming service do you use, and why? Let us know in the comments section below.

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached via [email protected] or the provided social links.