Spotify starts testing real-time lyrics to enable karaoke experience

Spotify has started testing real-time lyrics in select countries, shortly after Apple Music rolled out the feature with the launch of iOS 13.

Users outside of the United States have reported seeing lyrics synchronized with song playback in the Spotify mobile app. Screenshots taken by these users show that the feature, which is powered by Musixmatch, is located under the playback controls. There is also an option to watch the lyrics on full screen, which should make it easier to sing along with them.

Spotify kalian ada lirik nya tak?:"V Ini tiba tiba ada:"V kaget gw:"V eh trnyta dari musixmatch:V pic.twitter.com/DFO54qFzuQ

— Aku sayang Wandireksen :(( (@notfndm) November 14, 2019

TechCrunch received confirmation from Spotify that the real-time lyrics feature is undergoing testing. “We can confirm we are testing this feature in a small number of markets,” the spokesperson said. “At Spotify, we are always testing new products and experiences but have no further news to share at this time.”

The real-time lyrics feature has been one of Spotify’s most requested features. Behind the Lyrics, a partnership between the music streaming service and Genius is the closest that Spotify users have to a lyrics feature. However, instead of displaying karaoke-style lyrics, it provides stories and artist’s quotes about the lyrics of songs, which is very informative but not what users need if they want to sing along to the songs.

The Spotify vs. Apple Music rivalry continues to intensify, as both music streaming services keep rolling out features to try to attract new subscribers. This year, Spotify launched Storyline, its version of the Stories format that was popularized by Snapchat, allowing artists to create additional content that will appear on the now playing screen. Just recently, it introduced Soundtrack Your Ride, which creates customized playlists for those long road trips. The tool asks questions, including the origin and destination of the trip, to be able to generate a list of songs that will cover the estimated length of the drive.

Spotify’s version of the real-time lyrics feature has shown up for listeners in Indonesia, Canada, and Mexico. It remains unclear when it will exit testing and roll out to the United States, but with Apple Music already offering the feature, Spotify users should expect it to arrive sooner rather than later.