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Spotify snaps up Heardle

Illustration by Kate Walker

Spotify snaps up Heardle


The Future. Spotify is acquiring Heardle, a musical Wordle inspired spinoff. After seeing The New York Times’ acquisition pay off handsomely, this strategy (of using games to attract new customers) is inspiring other brands to follow suit. Up next? The future of customer acquisition may be in games. 

Drumroll, please

Have you Heardle the news?

  • Heardle, the music guessing game where players try to guess a song in as few seconds as possible, will soon join Spotify.
  • While the streaming platform didn’t disclose how much it paid for the game, the move is a clear strategic play for Spotify. Heardle attracts tens of millions of players every month.
  • For existing players, the “look and feel of the game will stay the same, and it’ll remain free to play for everyone,” wrote Spotify in a press release. 

Beat the clock

Spotify is taking a page out of The New York Times’ playbook. After the publication acquired Wordle, it reported that the game brought “tens of millions” of new users to the site. In fact, NYT saw its best-ever quarter in net subscriber additions (via Games) after it completed the acquisition in January. 

Eyeing that success, Spotify is trying to do the same with its Heardle purchase — attracting new users through the fun of gaming. And it’s not the only company using this strategy to drum up new customers. Netflix announced it would release new games this year, too, tied to shows like The Queen’s Gambit, Shadow and Bone, and more.

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