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Spotify Axes Heardle—Its Music-based Wordle

Today’s Heardle was quite the doozy.
Screenshot: Gizmodo

The viral word game Wordle has spawned its fair share of clones, from Octordle to Absurdle to the movie-based Framed. Unfortunately, Heardle, the Spotify-owned, music-based version of the word guessing game, will be shutting down next month.

Heardle operated much like Wordle, but instead of guessing words with five letters at a time, users guess a song by hearing only a few seconds at a time. Spotify, which acquired Heardle in 2022 for an undisclosed amount of money, is reportedly pivoting to spend more energy on music discovery on its own platform and less energy on off-platform services like Heardle.

“Thanks for playing Heardle, but unfortunately we have to say goodbye. From May 5th, Heardle will no longer be available,” a message reads on the Heardle webpage. “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.”

In an email, Spotify confirmed the news to Gizmodo saying, “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.”

Techcrunch learned that the company decided to cut Heardle loose due to how users were engaging with the game—indicating that the decision was not solely made based on the amount of user engagement. Heardle saw a peak of 69 million monthly users from desktop and mobile visits in March 2022, and that number dropped to 41 million monthly users just before Spotify acquired the game, according to the outlet which cited figures from Similarweb.

Spotify has been moving more towards revamping its own product, so its not shocking that the off-platform Heardle is getting the boot. In Spotify’s quest to develop its music discovery features, the company unveiled a talking AI DJ that brings the worst parts of radio to your pocket. Likewise, Spotify announced last month that its mobile app would be receiving an overhaul to feature more music video clips and other visual content, which would turn the app into a kind of attention-sucking TikTok clone. In another fat-trimming measure, Spotify recently announcing it was killing its live broadcasting app dubbed Spotify Live.

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