April 14, 2023

Spotify Is Shutting Down Heardle Name-That-Tune Game Less Than a Year After Buying It


Less than a year after Spotify acquired Heardle, the audio streamer is mothballing the music game.

“Heardle is going away on May 5th,” a message on the service’s website says. “Thanks for playing Heardle, but unfortunately we have to say goodbye.” In the note to Heardle users, Spotify said that if they have statistics they would like to save, “make sure you go to your stats and take a screenshot by May 4th.”

When Spotify announced its deal to buy Heardle in July 2022, the company touted it as “a tool for musical discovery,” saying that playing the game “might just help you to rediscover old tracks you may have thought you’d forgotten, discover amazing new artists, or finally put a title to that wordless melody you’ve had caught in your head forever.”

Heardle launched in February 2022, based on the format pioneered by word-guessing game Wordle, which was bought by the New York Times for more than $1 million. In Heardle, players get six tries to to correctly identify a song as quickly as possible based on its opening notes.

The identity of Heardle’s creator has been kept secret. Prior to Spotify’s acquisition of the game, Variety interviewed the “London-based web and app designer” who launched Heardle but did not identify them, citing their wish to remain anonymous.

Spotify hadn’t disclosed what it paid for Heardle. In recent months has been looking at cutting operating costs. In January, Spotify said it was laying off 6% of its employees and announced a senior-executive reorg that included the exit of Dawn Ostroff, chief content and advertising business officer.


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