Spotify is locking song lyrics behind a paywall — what you need to know

Spotify logo on a smartphone with headphones next to it
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you're not paying for a Spotify subscription, you're losing yet another feature that was once free. 

Several Reddit users (via Android Authority) have noticed that Spotify has limited how many songs they can see the lyrics for on their free accounts, a similar system to the service's skips per hour system.  When the user reaches their limit they would have to wait for a set amount of time before being able to view more lyrics on Spotify. 

When that limit is hit, the app now suggests that users move to a paid Premium subscription. That won't stop you from looking up the lyrics online, but users will lose the real-time sync and scrolling that Spotify offers with its in-app lyrics. 

Spotify app running on phone

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Spotify currently requests lyrics from songwriters, publishers, and independent artists. However, Spotify also works with MusixMatch, who supply lyrics if the other avenues do not work. Spotify may be implementing this new rule to cover the cost of that partnership, 

Spotify offers a free, ad-based membership for those looking to save money over the subscription model. However, the features of this service have been cut down over time, including limiting how many songs free-tier users can skip per hour (up to six) and blocking users from selecting the playback order.

There are indications that Spotify is focusing on AI features that could help to improve the overall service for users. However, putting yet another once-free feature behind a paywall could persuade non-paying users to switch to one of the other best music streaming service options like YouTube Music or Apple Music.

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Staff Writer

Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.