Remember Heardle? Spotify Owns It Now

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Happy Saturday Everyone!

Remember when everyone on the Internet was sharing weirdly shaped green tiles on their feed and you had no idea what was happening?

No they weren’t quite Lego bricks as this tweet suggests.

Wordle - a side project created by Welsh software developer Josh Wardle (yes, a word-play on his last name) for his partner’s love for word games evolved into something much bigger.

Going on to be played by millions of users world-wide, Wordle was acquired at the start of 2022 by The New York Times for $1 Million.

Pretty cool right?

While Josh couldn’t have ever imagined a weekend project blowing up into something this big, the concept also inspired a bunch of cool projects around it.

My personal favourite might be , a game exclusively for profane words, but maybe that’s something we keep for another newsletter 😉

Earlier this week, Spotify announced that they were acquiring ‘ ‘- a game that lets users get 6 attempts at guessing a particular ‘ Song Of The Day’, with six separate 2 second samples from the song to help users give a clue.

While I’m not claiming that we here at Incentify are always *Cough-Ahead-Of-The-Curve-Cough*, we did cover Heardle on this newsletter back in March.

In case you missed it, check it out here 👇🏻

So What’s Spotify To Do With Heardle?

Usually if we’re talking about Spotify on this newsletter, it’s about how there’s a controversy around artists and their royalty payouts, or its big bet into podcasting and alternative audio.

While Spotify is no stranger to acquiring Tech companies, this is the first instance of them buying a ‘game’.

If you’re still clueless about how Heardle works and were lazy enough to not check out our newsletter above, here’s a video that explains how it works

Did you make it this far? Why not share this with someone and help support us?

Jeremy Erlich, Global Head of Music for Spotify talked about their thesis behind the acquisition:

“We are always looking for innovative and playful ways to enhance music discovery and help artists reach new fans.

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.

Since its debut, the game has quickly built a loyal following, and it aligns with our plans to deepen interactivity across the Spotify ecosystem.”

However, not everyone is happy 🤷‍♂️

Users were quick to take to Twitter and express their anger with how Spotify has already ‘broken’ Heardle, as many of them were unable to play the game, while others could no longer see their stats and boast about it.

It’s kind of a similar story to when users expressed their displeasure at The New York Times acquiring Wordle, claiming that they already made the game tougher and removed the fun element from it.

Our Take On This?

Last week, we spoke about how TikTok is emerging as a music discovery platform, and changing user behaviour by becoming a search oriented platform.

In fact a Senior VP of Google himself admitted that TikTok and Instagram are eating into Google’s market share for search, indicating a broader shift into how the younger generation looks stuff up online.

Music is no exception, and Spotify has realised that incorporating social features that help in creating a community around music is key to them not losing ground when it comes to retaining their dominant market share in music streaming.

Heardle might not solve that problem, but it’s a statement of intent that Spotify acknowledges how important the community aspect around music is important.

While it isn’t clear how the game will be integrated into Spotify, it’ll be interesting to see the roadmap adopted by Spotify going forward.

We at Incentify are building a social network for music sharing & discovery that helps users form & interact in communities sharing similar music tastes.

Have a good weekend everyone 🍻

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Originally published at on July 16, 2022.



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