Help Wizard

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Lyrics are a disability accessibility feature

Moving lyrics behind a paywall is the equivalent to making Closed Captioning a pay option with TV service. 


I am the husband and father of two wonderful members of the Deaf/ Hard of Hearing community. My 12 year old daughter came home crying today because the service is now functionally unusable for her.


I know companies need to make a profit, but charging for features that are an accessibility lifeline to an entire community is the wrong way to do it.


this is absolutely true!


I’m a premium user so I didn’t even realize this was one of the paid options. I’m actually shocked Spotify puts lyrics behind a paywall, I have an audio processing disorder and I rely heavily on having access to the lyrics in app to enjoy it. 
Not giving fair access to a disability aid in your app looks really bad


Also how about closed captions for the audio books so hard hearing can follow and enjoy 🫶🏻


HoH here. I've always had a hard time deciphering words, so I used to always have lyrics open so I could actually understand anything. I listen to music 24/7, as it's a ginormous part of my life, and I really hate not being able to see them without paying.


Part of the reason I got a cochlear implant after going deaf was so I could continue to listen to music. It's not perfect hearing so similarly to some HoH people lyrics are hard to decipher/process. When Spotify added lyrics, I was so excited, cause it made listening to music alot more accessible to the deaf/HoH community. To have that taken away so Spotify can satisfy its greed is more than insulting. For hearing people the lyrics feature is just convenient, but Google is still a great free alternative to them. For most of the deaf/HoH community, Googling lyrics isn't really helpful for understanding what we're hearing in the moment, so we are the people Spotify would mainly be profiting from. This is like giving somebody a cane and then taking it away; it's unfair, and I will be looking into how legal this is.


I am not HoH, but my mom is-- she has problems hearing when other ambient noise is around. I loved being able to pull up Spotify on her smart TV after we would go to a concert and play songs for her that she might not have been able to understand. I also love being able to pull up lyrics within Spotify when I am trying to learn a new song. 

Please consider that it's not fair for lyrics to be placed behind a pay wall. A majority of the people who need these features also live on fixed incomes and being able to spend money on premium services is a luxury for us. 


Spotify is getting worse and worse and this website is proof they don't care or listen. What cheap penny pinching moron made that call? It's so braindead to hide lyrics when you can Google them and see them free in a second. Tight wads.


For the person looking into the legality of it maybe look for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines also known as W3C, specifically Guideline 1.2 Time-based Media: Provide alternatives for time-based media. Also the ADA compliance site has a section on website accessibility. I’m not an expert but it actually might be protected under the ADA?




You're very much right that it's protected. I've sent email contact to Spotify and have notified the National Association for the Deaf's advocacy division. I have the court cases that back up lyrics as an accessibility service.


A friend of mine pointed out that Spotify doesn't even write out the lyrics themself, they get them from musicxmatch, so it's not even Spotify's service that they're trying to charge for. As my friend put it "it's not just giving someone with mobility issues a cane and then taking it away, it's taking a cane freely given by a hospital, giving it to someone with mobility issues, and then taking it away."