Just nine or so months after purchasing Heardle, Spotify has announced that it will shut down the music-trivia game early next month.
The Stockholm-headquartered audio-entertainment platform informed fans of the imminent conclusion of Heardle’s operations on the main page for the game itself. (The end of Spotify Live, the foundation of which was Locker Room, was revealed via the app’s homepage towards the beginning of April. Formerly known as Spotify Greenroom, the service “no longer makes sense as a separate, standalone app,” execs said.)
“Thanks for playing Heardle, but unfortunately we have to say goodbye,” Spotify made clear on the aforesaid main page. “From May 5th, Heardle will no longer be available. If you have stats that you would like to save, make sure you go to your stats and take a screenshot by May 4th. It won’t be possible to access them after May 4th.”
The streaming giant revealed the Heardle buyout in July of 2022, disclosing plans at the time to integrate the game “and other interactive experiences more fully into Spotify.” And while different companies have in the not-so-distant past folded purchases into broader offerings (see Apple’s Primephonic acquisition and the recent debut of Apple Music Classical), the timing doesn’t quite line up with Heardle.
Besides the above-noted “goodbye” message’s rather definitive wording, TechCrunch indicated that the move will in fact mark the end of Heardle – at least as a subsidiary of Spotify. “Wtf @SpotifyUSA @Heardle_app sell it back to the creators!!! #Heardle,” one peeved player demanded on social media, where Geffen Records and BTS’ Suga plugged the trivia title only last week.
The decision to axe Heardle arrives as Spotify, like more than a few companies operating in and around the tech sector, is working to reduce costs and take steps towards achieving profitability.
January saw the business trim approximately six percent of its global team after making several podcasting cutbacks during 2022 and appearing to pivot away from a business model revolving around rapid-fire acquisitions. Of course, time will tell whether the service also attempts to cut its losses on other potentially ill-advised purchases.
Notwithstanding these efforts to dial back spending, however, Spotify is continuing to explore NFT-related initiatives, build out its video-podcast capabilities, bolster its audiobook library, and embrace artificial intelligence. When the market closed today, Spotify stock (NYSE: SPOT) was worth $134.74 per share – marking a slight improvement from mid-April of 2022 but an almost 65 percent resurgence since 2023’s beginning.