Spotify representatives have recently confirmed that the streaming platform will begin testing a new feature where free account holders will have to pay to view song lyrics.
So far, the feature has not been rolled out to all free Spotify users. Instead, there have been a random selection of free users that will receive the app’s update along with the new paywall feature.
A statement was made from a representative of Spotify that said “At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of tests, some of those tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning. In keeping with our standard practices, we’re currently testing this with a limited number of users in a pair of markets. We don’t have any further news to share at this time.”
Since Spotify seems to intend to use this “test” as a gauge of how well their audiences react to it, it may be safe to say that this feature will not last. Many on social media sites such as Reddit and Twitter have been commenting on the streaming “test,” saying that the feature is “ableist against the deaf community” and will ultimately force them to pay in order to enjoy their Spotify account.
If this is just the beginning, it seems unlikely that Spotify would be able to ignore claims of being “ableist.” However, only time will reveal the true ending of Spotify’s tests. For now, maybe avoid updating the app in hopes of not being randomly selected for the lyric paywall feature.