Jul 12, 2022 - Economy

Spotify to acquire music trivia game Heardle

Photo: Courtesy of Spotify

Spotify said Tuesday it will acquire Heardle, a daily music trivia game that tasks players with identifying a song based on its opening notes.

Why it matters: The deal builds on Spotify's efforts to make it easier to discovery and interactive with music on its platform.

  • "We see Heardle as more than a trivia game," Spotify said in a statement announcing the deal. "It’s also a tool for musical discovery."

Details: Heardle is inspired by the popular word guessing game Wordle, which was acquired by the New York Times in 2022.

  • Like Wordle, Heardle is only available once daily to players on its own website and app. It gives users just six tries to guess a popular song based on its opening notes. The more guesses a user uses, the more of a song's notes are exposed.
  • For existing Heardle players, the look and feel of the game will not change with the acquisition and the game will remain free to play for everyone.
  • With the deal, players will now be able to listen to the full song on Spotify at the end of the game. 
  • Deal terms were not disclosed.

Between the lines: At an investor presentation in June, Spotify executives laid out a plan for the company to invest more heavily in music discovery, noting that from Q1 2021 through Q1 2022, artists that leveraged Spotify's "Discovery Mode" feature had 98% customer retention.

  • "Playing Heardle might just help you to rediscover old tracks you may have thought you’d forgotten, discover amazing new artists, or finally put a title to that wordless melody you’ve had caught in your head forever," the statement read.

The big picture: Games are increasingly being used by media giants to push users to spend more time with their content and on their platform.

  • The New York Times said in May its seven-figure acquisition of Wordle in January, brought in "an unprecedented tens of millions of new users to the Times.

What's next: The game will be available beginning Tuesday in U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with other countries to follow in the future.

  • Soon, the company said, "hundreds of millions more people around the world will have the opportunity to play and enjoy the game in their native language."
  • Later the company plans to integrate Heardle and other interactive experiences more fully into Spotify.
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