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Spotify Announces Partnership with Genius, Introduces ‘Behind The Lyrics’ Playlists

Spotify is sinking its teeth into a new partnership with Genius. The streaming service announced Tuesday (Jan. 12) that it would be working with the site — known for collecting crowd-sourced musical gems and hosting a vast collection of song lyrics — for a new listening experience that will include lyrical factoids popping up during playback.

Spotify will be delivering new Genius-powered playlists, Behind the Lyrics (Hip Hop) and Behind The Lyrics (Hits), where users will be able to view lyrical excerpts, annotations and stories from artists as their tracks play. Pusha T, Tinashe and Diplo will be the first three artists to contribute to the partnership, reminiscent of VH1's Pop-Up Music Video, where comedic facts would be inserted into music videos.

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"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, who recently annotated his King Push: Darkest Before Dawn album for Genius. “Together we've found a way to bring my fans a deeper listening experience and raise the bar for songwriters."

The Genius deal provides a silver lining for Spotify, who has been battling two lawsuits over copyright infringement over the past two months. The music subscription-based service — which boasts 70 million users — said in a Dec. 23 blog post that it would be building a music publishing database to properly manage royalties. 

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The partnership is also a plus for the Brooklyn-based startup, looking to engage more users with the new lyrical feature, which will be available for all Spotify iPhone users (except iPhone 4 and 4s users) on Jan. 12. 

“Genius is a living museum of songs packed with eye-opening, delightful, and downright obsessive musical knowledge," Ilan Zechory, co-founder and President of Genius, tells Billboard. "We’re proud to join forces with Spotify to take users behind the lyrics of some really interesting songs. There’s a lot to uncover, and we hope Spotify users and scholars everywhere have fun falling down the rabbit hole.”