Spotify is shutting down Heardle, a music guessing game similar to Wordle that it bought last July. Heardle is like Wordle but with songs. Players have six tries to guess a popular song by listening to its intro instead of typing letters to form words. When Spotify bought Heardle, they announced that it would continue to be free for all users. The company has announced that it will shut down Heardle on May 5. This decision is part of their effort to prioritize their goals related to music discovery.
The changes will be announced on the Heardle website through an in-app message.
Spotify recently updated its mobile app with a fresh design. The update includes discovery feeds for music and podcasts, similar to TikTok. It also has features like Smart Shuffle and a podcast autoplay option for playlist suggestions. They also introduced an “AI DJ” feature that determines your music preferences and plays those tracks. The feature becomes smarter as you use it more.
After these updates, Heardle was no longer part of Spotify’s music discovery efforts. Many tech companies have been cutting costs, including laying off employees. Because of this, they are less motivated to work on side projects, such as a fun music game.
At the time of its acquisition, Heardle was still quite popular. In March 2022, the game reached its highest point with 69 million monthly desktop and mobile web visits, as Similarweb reported. Before the Spotify deal, the number of visits had decreased to 41 million. The company says that visits kept decreasing, probably making Spotify decide that maintaining Heardle was no longer a good idea.
Additionally, the popularity of Wordle has been declining since The New York Times acquired the game in January of last year. It could also mean that Heardle’s prospects are not promising. After the deal closed, Heardle kept some loyal users, but Spotify didn’t provide specific information about overall usage or repeat engagement. Spotify decided to invest in other areas only after seeing how Heardle players interacted with the game.
In the game, users can listen to the full track on Spotify by clicking a button after guessing the song. Some users may not have done this and exited the game to play again later.
Simply put, Heardle did not assist Spotify in achieving its goals of enhancing music discovery. After the redesign, Heardle’s offerings mainly were the same as the company’s other music discovery features, but now they were available outside of the Spotify app.
For fans of Heardle, the news of the game’s upcoming closure will be disappointing. Only Forbes contributors who wrote the daily answers, clues, and websites running Heardle clones may have been affected.
Spotify confirmed that the game is closing with a statement.
A company spokesperson told that they have decided to say goodbye to Heardle. They want to focus on other features for music discovery.
The website will show a banner to users, letting them know about the shutdown on May 5.
No team was working on Heardle, so there were no employee cuts or reorganizations.
Spotify is no longer focusing on Heardle, but it still plans to explore other interactive experiences. The company now provides an interactive AI DJ feature, polls, and Q&As, allowing podcast listeners to engage with their favorite creators. In addition, it will keep investing in various gaming projects, such as its Spotify island on Roblox, its in-app Gaming hub, and other collaborations with Xbox and PlayStation.
Spotify recently closed down Spotify Live, its live-streaming app and competitor to Clubhouse.