Spotify will be shutting down Heardle, the music guessing game it bought in July of last year for an undisclosed amount. Resembling Wordle, Heardle allows players to make six attempts to guess a famous song by listening to its introduction rather than typing in letters to form words. Spotify previously stated that Heardle would continue to be free for everyone after the acquisition but now plans to discontinue it on May 5 to concentrate on other music discovery strategies.
The modifications are being declared via an in-app notification on the Heardle platform.
We have gathered that Spotify’s choice to shut down Heardle is a result of their desire to dedicate their efforts to enhancing music exploration through their updated app rather than focusing on Wordle-like gameplay outside of the platform.
In the previous month, Spotify implemented a noteworthy makeover of its mobile app interface, which brought in fresh TikTok-style feeds for music and podcasts and additional functionalities such as Smart Shuffle for suggesting playlists and a novel feature for podcast autoplay. Furthermore, it released an “AI DJ” that can identify the musical preferences of users and play those tracks for them. This feature has advanced machine learning capabilities that get enhanced as the user interacts with it.
Following these revisions, Heardle lost its significance as a pivotal component of Spotify’s general music exploration initiatives. Furthermore, numerous technology firms that have experienced cost-cutting measures such as staff reductions in recent times have less of an economic incentive to experiment with ancillary ventures, such as an enjoyable music game.
Despite its waning popularity, Heardle was still quite popular at the time of its purchase. Based on information from web analytics company Similarweb, the game reached its highest point with 69 million desktop and mobile visits each month in March 2022. However, just prior to the Spotify acquisition, the number of visits had fallen to 41 million. The company reports that visits continued to decline, which probably made maintaining Heardle unfeasible for Spotify.
Additionally, with a decline in the popularity of Wordle, which was acquired by The New York Times in January of last year, the future prospects of Heardle may have also been diminishing. Although Heardle managed to retain some of its devoted users after the acquisition, Spotify did not disclose any details about overall usage or recurring engagement. Nevertheless, Spotify redirected its investments to other areas only after recognizing the manner in which Heardle players actively interacted with the game.
In the game, users were given the opportunity to listen to the complete track on Spotify by clicking on a button after they had guessed the song. It is likely that several users simply restarted the game rather than listening to the complete track.
To put it differently, Heardle was not effective in assisting Spotify with its aim to enhance music exploration. Furthermore, the majority of Heardle’s offerings were redundant with the company’s existing music discovery features after the revamp, and were available outside of the actual Spotify application.
Still, for those who loved playing Heardle, today’s announcement regarding the game’s imminent closure will not likely be welcome news except, perhaps, by those Forbes contributors who had to write up the daily answers and clues and by the numerous sites running Heardle clones.
Although the forthcoming termination of Heardle may bring disappointment to its fans, it could be perceived as a positive development by individuals who were responsible for compiling the game’s daily answers and clues and by the numerous websites that offer similar games.
Spotify confirmed the game’s closure with a statement.
TechCrunch was informed by a company representative that they have decided to bid farewell to Heardle, following thoughtful deliberation, in order to concentrate on other aspects of music exploration.
On May 5, the website will show a notification banner to its users regarding the upcoming shutdown.
We have been informed that no specific team was assigned to handle Heardle. Thus there will be no effects in the form of workforce reduction or restructurings.
Although Spotify is discontinuing Heardle, it hasn’t abandoned the idea of interactive experiences entirely. According to reports, the company currently provides listeners with various interactive tools such as an AI DJ, polls, and Q&As that allow them to connect with their favorite podcast creators. Additionally, it is committed to funding other gaming ventures like its Spotify island on Roblox, its in-app Gaming hub, and its integration with Xbox and PlayStation.
At the beginning of this month, Spotify ended another supplementary initiative by discontinuing its live-streaming application, Spotify Live, which was in competition with Clubhouse.