September 29, 2023

Spotify karaoke? Looks like it’s coming.

Spotify, which started as a pure music streaming services, wants to become all things audio to everyone. The first big step in that direction was a dive into hosting podcasts. Next up? Karaoke.

Digital Music News has been keeping tabs on Spotify’s work on a karaoke feature. It would allow users to turn down the original vocals on a song and then sing along to lyrics displayed on the screen.

People who love to dig into patents noticed a “Karaoke Query Processing System” which works like this: “An electronic device receives an audio clip and performs a matching process on the audio clip. The matching process includes comparing at least a portion of the audio clip to a plurality of reference audio tracks and identifying, based on the comparing, the first portion of a particular reference track that corresponds to the audio sample. Upon identifying the matching portion, the electronic device provides a backing track for playback which corresponds to the particular reference track and an initial playback position of the backing track.”

So audio samples are matched with songs so you can do the karaoke thing? I think that’s what that means.

Other platforms have tried the karaoke thing (Amazon and Twitch among them) but have given up and closed down those initiatives. Tencent, the Chinese giant, continues to maintain an app called WeSing which generates over 10 million karaoke recordings per day(!!!). It currently has a market share of 77% of all online karaoke users in China.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37122 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Spotify karaoke? Looks like it’s coming.

  • So this is a new take on music publisher video synch. traditionally karaoke record labels like myself must secure song by song, publisher by publisher to get the rights to sync lyrics to music. Spotify will set a new precedent that karaoke video sync (contemporaneous display of lyric) hopefully this will be reverted back to a to a mechanicall, like it was up to the court case Abcco versus Stellar records .

    Tell me how this isn’t a video sync? Are publishers giving up their video sync rights?
    I think smaller publishers sue Spotify over sync rights.


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