Spotify rolls out real-time lyrics quietly on the Nest Hub

Spotify has quietly rolled out support for real-time lyrics on the Google Nest Hub. The feature, already made available on iOS, Android, game consoles, desktop computers, and select smart TVs, lets you listen to music on Spotify while seeing a stream of lyrics that progresses with the song.

While Spotify hasn’t formally announced the feature’s launch, several users report spotting real-time lyrics on their Nest Hub devices, you can access the feature by tapping the lyrics icon in the screen’s bottom-right corner when you select a song.

The video embedded below shows the quality in action. It’s not entirely clear when Spotify rolled the feature out or where it’s available. However, the quality was previously available on mobile, desktop, game consoles, and Smart TVs.

Upon launch, Spotify only made real-time lyrics available to users in select countries in South America, Central America, and Asia. However, it expanded the feature globally last November, giving everyone the chance to sing karaoke or get to know the lyrics of a new song. Although music data company Musixmatch provides real-time vocals, Spotify previously partnered with Genius for its “Behind the Lyrics” feature.

The Amazon Echo Show and Meta Portal already have a similar karaoke-friendly feature that lets you display album art and real-time song lyrics through Amazon Music. And while YouTube Music rolled out a lyrics feature to Android, iOS, and the web in 2020, the lyrics don’t advance with the song, so you have to scroll through them as you listen manually. Unfortunately, this feature doesn’t seem to have made its way to the Nest Hub just yet.

Spotify is a Swedish proprietary audio streaming and media services provider founded on 23 April 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. It is one of the music streaming service providers, with over 422 Mn monthly active users, including 182 Mn paying subscribers, as of March 2022. Spotify is documented on the New York Stock Exchange in the form of American depositary receipts.

Spotify offers digital copyright-restricted recorded music and podcasts, including more than 82M songs, from record labels and media companies. As a freemium service, essential features are free with advertisements and limited control, while extra features, like offline and commercial-free listening, are offered via paid subscriptions. Spotify is presently available in 180+ nations as of October 2021. Users can search for music based on the album, artist, or genre and edit, create and share playlists.

Spotify is open in most of Europe, the Americas, and Oceania, with broad availability in 184 markets. The service is available on most gadgets, including macOS, Windows, Linux computers, Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, smart home devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Nest, and digital media players such as Roku.

Unlike download or physical sales, which pay artists a designated price per song or album sold, Spotify delivers royalties based on the number of artist streams as a proportion of total songs. It distributes roughly 70% of its total revenue to rights holders, who then pay artists based on individual agreements. About 13,000 out of seven million artists on Spotify generated $50,000 or more in payments in 2020.

Spotify was launched in 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden, by Daniel Ek, ex-CTO of Stardoll, and Martin Lorentzon, co-founder of Tradedoubler. The company’s label was initially misheard from a name called Lorentzon. Later they believed a portmanteau of “spot” and “identify.”

In February 2010, Spotify extended public registration for the free service tier in the UK. However, registrations surged following the release of the mobile service, showing Spotify halted registration for the free service in September, yielding the UK to an invitation-only policy.

Spotify was established in the United States in July 2011 and offered a six-month, ad-supported trial period, during which new users could hear an unlimited amount of music for free. In January 2012, the free trial periods started to expire and limited users to ten hours of streaming every month and five plays per song. Using PC streaming, you would notice a similar structure to what we see today, with a listener able to play songs freely, but with ads, every 4-7 songs depending on listening duration. Later that same year, in March, Spotify indefinitely removed all limits on the free service tier, including mobile devices.

In April 2016, Ek and Lorentzon penned an open letter to Swedish politicians, demanding action in three areas that they argued hindered the company’s ability to recruit top talent as Spotify grows, including access to flexible housing. In addition, it is better education in the programming and development fields and stock options. Finally, Ek and Lorentzon wrote that politicians needed to respond with new policies to continue competing in a global economy, or thousands of Spotify jobs would be moved from Sweden to the United States.

In February 2017, Spotify announced the expansion of its United States processes New York City, at 4 World Trade Center, in Lower Manhattan, adding around 1,000 new jobs and retaining 832 existing positions. The company’s US headquarters are located in New York City’s Flatiron District.

On 14 November 2018, the company announced 13 new markets in the MENA region, including creating a new Arabic hub and several playlists.