• 01.12.16

Spotify Teams Up With Genius For Behind The Lyrics Playlists

The differentiation race among streaming services continues with uniquely annotated playlists, starting with Pusha T, Diplo, and Tinashe.

Spotify Teams Up With Genius For Behind The Lyrics Playlists

Right now, if you’re listening to a great song and start wondering just what those lyrics mean, or if you’re hearing it right, you need to go on a bit of a search. Even if it’s as simple as hitting up Genius, that’s an extra few clicks that you might not want in your life. Now the music annotation site and Spotify are hoping to eliminate that dilemma.


The two brands have launched a Behind the Lyrics playlist series, starting off with Behind the Lyrics (HipHop), to be followed by Behind the Lyrics (Hits) sometime in the next week. The tracks on these playlists will include frequently updated lyric excerpts, fun facts, annotations, and stories straight from both artists and the Genius community.

In its statement, Genius says it has stripped down its product to something it calls the Fact Track. “It’s like a soundtrack… but with more facts! Also, it sounds like “FAQ Track,” which makes sense because it answers all your FAQs about a song… Fact Tracks play along with the music, which limits the amount of information we can show, but also allows us to give you the facts unfiltered and straight into your soul windows. No tapping, no clicking, just LEAN BACK.”

The hip hop playlist features songs and picks by Diplo, Pusha T, and Tinashe. In Spotify’s press release, Pusha T explained why he got involved. “I’ve partnered with Genius and Spotify to take you ‘Behind The Lyrics’ of my greatest songs because every word that I write means something to me,” said Pusha T. “Together we’ve found a way to bring my fans a deeper listening experience and raise the bar for songwriters.”

It’s a fun partnership that also reminds us of the high stakes arms race of differentiation among streaming sites, as they jockey for position in this increasingly lucrative market that will only keep moving at its breakneck pace of development.

Right now, the Behind the Lyrics playlists are only available on desktop and iPhone users.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.