New in 2022: Spotify acquires Heardle, the Wordle-inspired music guessing game

Spotify intends to enhance music discovery with the acquisition

New in 2022: Spotify acquires Heardle, the Wordle-inspired music guessing game

New in 2022: Spotify acquires Heardle, the Wordle-inspired music guessing game

Spotify announced today that it had acquired the Wordle-inspired music guessing game, Heardle, which the streamer will leverage to support music discovery.

Heardle is one of many beloved spinoffs that have occurred in the vein of Wordle, a word-oriented game launched by software engineer Josh Wardle. A phenomenon played by millions just four months after the game burst onto the internet was bought by The New York Times Company for an undisclosed price in the low seven figures. With Heardle, participants can guess the song with six tries to obtain the answer, each snippet becomes longer if the song isn’t correctly answered.

According to the Heardle website, songs for the game are picked from a list of the most-streamed songs in the past decade, via Soundcloud, so contemporary music fans have a greater likelihood of guessing them. Over the past several days, Heardle was trending on Twitter, where the new version tests users’ music knowledge.

For those who are unable to guess the song, Heardle offers a skip button as an option. However, the objective is to guess correctly in as few tries as possible so the players can share how much of a music fan they are. Like Wordle players who tweet their score, the game also has a feature where the users can copy a series of emojis to their clipboard so they can tell friends how quickly they could guess the song. Just like Wordle, players can only guess one Heardle per day.

The look and feel of the game will stay the same for existing Heardle players, and it will remain free for everyone to play, Spotify mentioned in a press release. With immediate effect, players can listen to the full song on Spotify at the end of the game.

Prior to its acquisition, Heardle invited players to make donations via ko-fi, a creator tipping platform, to support the game. A few fan-made Heardle derivatives like Lorde Heardle remain online.

Spotify’s strategic purchase

Spotify did not disclose the total cost of purchasing Heardle. The Wordle acquisition seems to have paid off for the newspaper, which noted in its quarterly earnings that the game brought tens of millions of new users to the site.  After playing the day’s Wordle puzzle, users would be provided with a small ad for another New York Times word game called Spelling Bee. So, its undeniably not a coincidence that The New York Times saw its excellent quarter for net subscriber additions to Games after its acquisition earlier during the year.

However, although Heardle may not be as popular as Wordle, it’s still a strategic purchase for Spotify. According to web analytics firm Similarweb, the game spiked at 69 million monthly mobile web and desktop visits in March. The previous month, Heardle website was visited 41 million times.

This acquisition enhances Spotify as it attempts to improve music discovery and maintain listeners on its mobile app. Like its popular Spotify Wrapped feature, which even included a game this year, Heardle has the potential to obtain organic social media shares for the app. Spotify’s own Twitter account has joined in on the fun. In the last few years, Spotify has made numerous acquisitions, typically in the podcasting space, such as Megaphone Anchor, and Podz, but this scripts Spotify’s first acquisition of a game


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