Adding song lyrics to your Spotify playlist is a great way to increase overall user engagement on the platform, and should definitely be considered as part of your Spotify promotion plan.
In this article we’ll explain what Spotify lyrics are, how they are displayed on the platform, and how to get your lyrics uploaded for your music.
What are Spotify lyrics?
Spotify lyrics are a fairly new feature which allows a tracks lyrics to be displayed within the app, in addition to the ‘Behind the Lyrics’ feature.
‘Behind the Lyrics’ is drawn from annotations a musician or their record label have made on the lyrics, explaining the meaning behind a certain song lyric, or an interesting story on the production of the song.
This ‘Behind the Lyrics’ feature is only available in English and in select locations at the moment.
There are also certain instances where lyrics can be played in sync with the music on Spotify, providing an almost karaoke style experience. This is currently only available in other select locations, more on that later.
How to See Lyrics on Spotify
Lyrics aren’t available for all tracks, so you may not always have the option to view them.
For those songs where they are available you can view them by clicking on the ‘now playing’ bar at the bottom of the screen, which will bring up a tab with the lyrics, or lyric information.
It’s also important to note that licensing lyrics is a tricky business (just ask Google) and tends to be done on a country by country basis using different providers.
This way, if you’re in an English speaking country listening to a song in English you’ll see lyrics provided by Genius, and should see the ‘Behind the Lyrics’ feature as well.
However, the situation is different if you’re in a one of the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, El Salvador, Uruguay, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Spotify has recently started testing real time lyrics in these countries using the lyric provider Musixmatch. Spotify has also been providing lyrics in Japan since 2016 through a different provider.
We’ve also seen instances of Spotify trying out multiple different formats for the lyrics on Android, with a lyrics button sometimes being displayed in the mini player and main track player.
This will likely shift about as Spotify likes to test many different variations on things before rolling a change out to everyone.
How to Get Your Lyrics on Spotify
There are two main ways to get your lyrics on the Spotify streaming platform: through Genius or Musixmatch.
The first thing to note is that even if you do the following steps your lyrics aren’t likely to show on Spotify unless you’re a popular artist, or your track gets significant traction. It’s still worth doing the following steps however, so you are prepared for when that time arrives.
As mentioned above, in most of the English speaking world the only way your lyrics will show to users on Spotify is if they’re being brought in from Genius.
However, this might change in the future, depending on Spotify’s lyric licensing deals, so don’t ignore Musixmatch all together because of this.
As well as this, Musixmatch has several benefits, in that it integrates better with music distribution companies, can let you add lyrics to Instagram, it links with Amazon Music and the Amazon Echo to improve their music search functionality, is used by Google in their lyric search, and is used by Spotify to provide real-time lyrics to users in other countries.
For these reasons you should definitely add your full lyrics to both of these services.
We assume this goes without saying, but before you can add lyrics to your track, you need to have uploaded your track to your Spotify for Artists profile.
How to Add Lyrics to Spotify Using Genius
First things first, you need to know that the lyric integration between Spotify and Genius is handled by their in house teams. This means that even if you upload your lyrics on Genius, they might not show on Spotify. The same goes for the “Behind the Lyrics” feature as well. You need to have “significant traction” with your track.
For your Genius Lyrics to be eligible for this you will need to do the following:
- Create an account with Genius
- Verify your account.
- Upload your full lyrics and add annotations.
- Get significant traction with your song, and a large amount of Spotify streams.
Understandably that last point is going to be hard for a lot of artists, which is why lyrics don’t appear for more tracks.
How to Add Lyrics to Spotify Using Musixmatch
To get your lyrics on Musixmatch and sync them you need to do the following:
- Fill out a form to get a verified artist profile.
- Add your lyrics to Musixmatch
- Download the Mobile app, login and connect it to spotify
- Search for the song you want to sync
- Click “play” then click “sync lyrics”
- Scroll down through the lyrics in time with the music.
As said previously, this will get your lyrics added to Spotify in a decent number of non-English speaking countries, and will hopefully come to English speaking countries in the future.
Regardless, it’s still a good platform on which to have your lyrics added and synced correctly, especially if you want to use its Instagram integration to add your lyrics to your Instagram story.
By now you should have a much better idea of what’s involved in getting your lyrics on Spotify.
As you can see, the service is still very much in its early stages. Things are constantly changing as the streaming service tests the different variations.
We’ll revisit this post as things change to make sure you have the up to date information, so why not sign up to get our latest resources and we’ll keep you updated as new posts go live.
Now that you know how to add your lyrics to Spotify, why not take a look at our guide to adding a canvas to Spotify.