Heardle was inspired by the word game Wordle, which was acquired by The New York Times last year in a seven-figure deal. Spotify acquired the music trivia game in July 2022 for an undisclosed sum.
Heardle lets players guess a song based on its opening notes. Spotify’s goal for the game was to attract more listeners to discover songs in their entirety.
Spotify had planned to integrate Heardle and other interactive experiences more fully into Spotify, the music streaming giant said at the time of the acquisition.
“Heardle has proven to be a really fun way to connect millions of fans with songs they know and love and with new songs…and a way to compete with their friends as to who has the best musical knowledge,” Jeremy Erlich, Global Head of Music at Spotify, said at the time.
“After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to say goodbye to Heardle as we focus our efforts on other features for music discovery.”
However, the company now says it is shutting down Heardle by May 5.
“After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to say goodbye to Heardle as we focus our efforts on other features for music discovery,” Spotify said in a tweet on Sunday (April 16).
Spotify did not provide further details into why it was shutting down the game.
The decision comes as visits on Heardle’s website continued to shrink in the past three months. Total visits in March reached 6 million, down from 7.3 million in February and from 10 million in January, according to data from Similarweb.
The Charlotte Observer also noted that there has been a decline in visits to Wordle after the NYT acquired the game.
Meanwhile, Spotify’s move to discontinue Heardle comes as the streaming platform also shut down its live audio app, Spotify Live, two years after launching it.
The decision follows “a period of experimentation and learnings around how Spotify users interact with live audio.”
“We believe there is a future for live fan-creator interactions in the Spotify ecosystem; however, based on our learnings, it no longer makes sense as a standalone app,” Spotify said in a statement.
It remains unclear how many staff are affected by the closure of Heardle and Spotify Live.
Back in January, Spotify said it is laying off more than 500 roles, or about 6% of the company’s headcount.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told staff that Spotify has not “focused as much on improving efficiency.”
“We still spend far too much time syncing on slightly different strategies, which slows us down. And in a challenging economic environment, efficiency takes on greater importance. So, in an effort to drive more efficiency, control costs, and speed up decision-making, I have decided to restructure our organization.”
In a bid to attract more users, Spotify recently rolled out a new feature called “Clips” for artists and a new homepage with a vertical feed that looks similar to how TikTok presents videos on its platform.
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