Spotify customers must pay to maintain utilizing the very best Google Residence characteristic

If you enjoy casting your favorite playlists, podcasts, and albums from Spotify to smart speakers, smart displays, or Chromecasts from Google Nest in your home, there are a few changes around the track. Those who pay for a Premium account (prices start at £ 4.99 per month for students, £ 9.99 for everyone else, or £ 12.99 for couples) can still use Google’s Cast technology to stream music wirelessly play through their Nest connected speakers. However, anyone who uses a free ad-supported account will lose its functionality.

The feature was revealed by the Google-centric blog 9to5Google, which was the first to discover that Spotify had silently removed the feature from its free accounts. When you launch the Spotify app, start playing a song, then click the “Cast” button. Free account users will receive a “Premium Only” notification.

Confusing at least for the moment when you pair your free Spotify account with your Google account in the Google Home app, which all Google Assistant-compatible smart home devices like Nest thermostats, LIFX lights, video doorbells and Smartly managed Google Nest speakers, you can still use a voice command “Hey Google” to get your favorite track, podcast, or playlist.

It’s unclear why this avoids restricting a free account right now, but don’t expect this workaround to be available for much longer if Spotify wants the ability to hear smart speakers to be a key differentiator between free and paid streaming Accounts. Previously, the option of selecting individual songs (not just listening to an album or playlist in the shuffle) and without advertising was the two advantages of paying for a Spotify Premium account. Only Premium subscribers can download songs for offline viewing on the subway, on a plane flight, or when you don’t feel like using your 4G data set.

Spotify has not confirmed whether this change will affect non-Google Assistant devices. For example, Amazon Echo – the best-known rival for smart speakers – also enables subscribers to play tracks with a request to the chatty AI assistant Alexa. The latest Sonos speakers support both Alexa and Google Assistant, and the Sonos app offers the option to pair a Spotify account. Are both blocked for free account holders as well?

If so, there will likely be a lot of disgruntled Spotify users around. In its latest earnings statement, Spotify confirmed that it is projecting to reach 427 million monthly active users and 184 million paid subscribers before the end of this year. While it’s clear that in order to increase business bottom line, Spotify needs to bring as many of those 243 million listeners with ad-supported accounts as possible to its paid tiers.

Those who have paid for the smart home kit and expect to be able to listen to their playlists and podcasts (albeit with advertisements on a regular basis) are likely upset that their new purchase without a £ 9.99 monthly debit is likely to be upset Spotify is less useful.

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