Adam Molina / Android Authority
For many people, Spotify may be the main reason to buy one of Amazon’s Echo speakers, or at least near the top of the priority list. It’s hard to beat having millions of songs and podcasts playable with your voice, or else a few taps on your phone. Here’s how to use Spotify with Amazon Alexa, whether on an Echo or on another smart speaker.
Read more: Everything you need to know about Spotify
To use Spotify with Amazon Alexa, you’ll first need to link the two services using the Alexa app for Android, iPhone, or iPad. You can find the option under Music & Podcasts in the Alexa app’s Settings menu, including the choice to make Spotify your default service. Once this is complete you can play music by asking any Alexa-compatible speaker in your home, or by starting music in the Spotify app then clicking/tapping on the Spotify Connect button to choose an Alexa device as the output. More details are below.
JUMP TO KEY QUESTIONS
How do you connect Spotify to Alexa?
Before getting started you’ll need established Spotify and Amazon accounts, as well as an Alexa-equipped speaker, such as an Echo Studio or Sonos One. Both Spotify Free and Premium accounts will work, but only Premium subscribers can listen without ads or play any song or album on demand. Free Spotify listeners can only shuffle playlists, or mixes based on an artist, album, or track.
Here’s how to link Spotify to Alexa:
- Open the Alexa app for Android, iPhone, or iPad.
- Tap the More button in the bottom toolbar.
- Tap Settings.
- Scroll down and select Music & Podcasts.
- Tap Link New Service, and follow prompts.
If you don’t want to add “on Spotify” every time you ask Alexa to play music, you’ll need to set it as a default service. Within the Music & Podcasts menu above, open Default Services. Here you can make separate selections for on-demand music, artist/genre stations, and podcasts. You might for example set Spotify as the default for stations and general music, but use Apple Podcasts so your podcast history syncs with Apple’s native Podcasts app.
How do you play Spotify music on Alexa devices?
Once Spotify and Alexa are linked, the simplest method is to ask your Alexa speaker to play an artist, album, song, podcast, or playlist. Be aware that Alexa often has trouble understanding non-English names and titles.
Here are some sample phrases you might use:
- “Alexa, shuffle music by Godspeed You Black Emperor.”
- “Alexa, play The Crow by DJ Food.”
- “Alexa, shuffle The Best Ambient Playlist You’ll Find on Spotify.”
- “Alexa, play the latest episode of The Origins Podcast.”
- “Alexa, play the album From Sleep by Max Richter.”
If you want to play music from a specific room, a group of speakers, or everywhere in your home, you’ll need to add that information to your request. For example:
- “Alexa, play music by Flying Lotus in the kitchen.”
- “Alexa, play my Release Radar playlist everywhere.”
Sometimes, of course, voice commands may not be the most convenient option, whether because Alexa doesn’t understand you or you want to queue several songs in a row. In that case you can start playback in the Spotify mobile or desktop apps, then simply tap or click on the Spotify Connect button, which looks like a speaker in front of a TV. This will bring up a list of Spotify-compatible devices on your local Wi-Fi network, including any Alexa speakers.
Note that you can only have one stream going per Spotify account. This means that if you’re listening to one song on your phone, for instance, and someone asks your Echo to play another, the music will switch there. You can get around this by joining multiple Amazon accounts in an Amazon Household, and giving each person their own Spotify account as well, but they’ll have to ask Alexa to switch profiles each time they want to use their own data.