Spotify is shutting down Heardle, its musical version of Wordle less than a year after acquiring it.
The music streaming service bought Heardle for an undisclosed amount in July 2022 shortly after it was born out of the Wordle craze. Today, players were shocked to find the following announcement that popped up when logging into the game Friday morning: “Heardle is going away on May 5th.”
The rest of the announcement read, “Thanks for playing Heardle, but unfortunately we have to say goodbye. 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.”
A Spotify spokesperson confirmed the company is sunsetting the music guessing game in a statement: “After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to say goodbye to Heardle as we focus our efforts on other features for music discovery.”
Some fans had some snarky responses to Heardle’s demise, with more than a few feeling that the service had gone downhill since being acquired by Spotify.
— Emily (@BallroomPink) April 14, 2023
The end of Heardle
Spotify’s decision to sunset Heardle comes after the company made sweeping changes to the streaming platform in the past month, from TikTok-style discovery feeds for music and podcasts to the AI DJ, which figures out what kind of music subscribers like and plays it for them based on the algorithm. Heardle hasn’t received any updates, and its playerbase declined significantly.
Heardle launched in February 2022, putting a musical twist on the uber-popular Worldle by giving players six attempts to guess the name of the song and the artist that sang it. When Spotify bought the music game last summer, the company said Heardle is seen “as more than a trivia game: It’s also a tool for musical discovery.” In other words, whether players guess the song right or wrong, the answer will show up at the end of the game and allow them to play that song on Spotify and save it to their playlists.
“We are always looking for innovative and playful ways to enhance music discovery and help artists reach new fans,” Spotify’s global head of music Jeremy Erlich said at the time. “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.”
Spotify won’t lay off any employees as a result of Heardle’s closure.
Cristina Alexander is a freelance writer for IGN. She has contributed her work to various publications, including Digital Trends, TheGamer, Twinfinite, Mega Visions, and The Escapist. To paraphrase Calvin Harris, she wears her love for Sonic the Hedgehog on her sleeve like a big deal. Follow her on Twitter @SonicPrincess15.