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Spotify's Search Feature is Subpar

Spotify's Search Feature is Subpar

Spotify, please update your search feature. Improve the verbatim search functionality.


This afternoon, I was trying to search the name of a podcast. I couldn't find it. I then tried to search the legal name of an artist who goes by an unrelated stage name, and instead of the actual Spotify page I was looking for (which totally exists), a user-made playlist with that title came up. After struggling to find two things that I, a paying Spotify user, wanted to listen to, I tried to look up the name of a popular song. The results load, and I don't see the song. Instead, the artist comes up. Then numerous large inhibitory boxes titled "Featuring (insert artist)" come up. Only after I scroll down an entire page do I finally come across the song, which I typed in verbatim. At this point, I almost blew a fuse, exited the Spotify app, and resorted to Google.

I proceeded to see if others shared my frustration about the ineffective and time-consuming search bar, and I came across website upon website of angry Spotify users who could not fathom why Spotify, a highly advanced and popular app, could not implement an effective search tool.


I specifically take issue with Spotify's failure to show the results of songs or albums that are typed in verbatim. Truly, it is not hard to match verbatim searches, and it is even less difficult to accommodate the needs of hundreds or frustrated users who claim that Spotify's search feature has ruined their day.


Here are some unedited excerpts from a variety of online discussions about Spotify's search feature:


“It's a long trademark for Spotify that their idiotic updates either break or remove some vital functionality. Those developing Spotify are clearly not using the program themselves, but are probably thinking "how to make the layout more minimalistic and modern”. Search is such an integral part of any music software that by 2017 there should be well-known standards for implementing working search function. Obviously Spotify fails to do something any amateur software designer would do better.”


“I hate the new search so much. Is Spotify totally not care about UX? The horrible new search function makes me think the staffs never ever use their own app.”



“The search function sucks. Let me explain. I'm not talking about specific searches, I mean when you're just looking up a band or an album. Here's an example. there's a post-rock band called Helm. Here's the first results for it: I searched for "Helm" and there is a band with the name "Helm" and nothing else. That should be the first result. It's a 100% 1:1 match. But no, the band I wanted is actually listed sixteenth. This is just one example but it happens to me all the dang time as someone who likes more unknown bands. If there is an exact match, that should be first, PERIOD. I type in "Envy" and the right result is 4th. "Mare" is ONE HUNDRED AND TWO entries down. I had to search for "Mare Mare" because their EP is self titled, but that didn't bring up the ALBUM, it just brought up the ARTIST that time.”


“I'm well aware of this. However, if I say "there's a band called X" and I type in X exactly, the first result should be X. X should not be buried beneath several dozen bands with names similar to X that are not X. Basically what I have to do now is Google X to find more information on them and then put that into Spotify with fancy modifiers when if the search function was competent in the first place, simply typing in the EXACT NAME OF THE BAND I'M LOOKING FOR would lead me to them.”


“Meanwhile, if I search for "mare band" in Google (including band just to remove non-musical entries), I don't get Mares of Thrace or Marek Hemmann, I get THE **bleep** BAND I WANTED. AND I GET THREE RESULTS FOR THEM IN A ROW. That's what Spotify makes me do now. In order to pull up an album by a band I want to use, I can't just search normal-style, I have to jump through syntax hoops and search ELSEWHERE for more unique terms to them. This is a PROBLEM. It needs FIXED.”


“Honestly lads... It's just a way to make you listen to different songs. They want you to listen. Ask any artist and they will tell you they love it for the royalties”


“I have no clue whatsoever what Spotify was thinking. This change makes using it significantly slower, less intuitive, and less user-friendly. In short, it is a massive failure in every conceivable way. I cannot for the life of me begin to fathom why it was made because it adds nothing whatsoever to the table and I cannot possibly imagine how it could be seen as anything but a downgrade by anybody. I've seen some stupid and baffling changes to apps before, but this is on a whole new level. It's so bad I'm about to go right back to Apple Music; I just switched back for the Hulu deal after having left Spotify for a year or so. I would literally rather give up Hulu and pay more per month than put up with this garbage. It is that big a deal to me. It has completely destroyed my ability to make playlists. Since iTunes still has a drop-down function, the UI is actually better than Spotify's now which is just sad.”


“I absolutely love Spotify, but this is so unintuitive and annoying that I'm quickly coming to hate it. I am constantly searching for songs, and this makes it incredibly slow and tedious. Also, every time I load a new page it takes a toll on my memory, so this is making it so much worse. What a terrible, useless feature to add. Was pressing enter after typing in the song too hard for some people?”

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