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Spotify’s free tier now works with Alexa and Bose speakers

Spotify is expanding the number of products that are compatible with its free, ad-supported tier of service. Starting Wednesday, November 20, people with free accounts can add Spotify to their Amazon Alexa products, including the full range of Echo speakers and Fire TV devices. You can also use Spotify free on any Bose smart speaker via Spotify Connect, using the Spotify app as the remote for the Bose speaker.

At the moment, the Alexa integration only works for subscribers in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, however, the Bose compatibility is not restricted geographically.

The news comes just a short time after Spotify announced that its free tier of service would work with Sonos products. Now that Spotify Free works with Alexa, any Sonos customers who have chosen to use Alexa as their voice assistant — either on a Sonos smart speaker like the Sonos One or Beam, or via an Echo product — will be able to use Alexa to play music from a Spotify Free account.

For now, Google Assistant is not compatible with Spotify Free.

These moves significantly expand Spotify’s potential audience as it seeks to grow its service in the face of increasing competition. Until recently, a premium Spotify account was required if you wanted to use the streaming music service on anything other than a smartphone or computer.

Earlier this year, Amazon launched a free, ad-supported version of its Amazon Music service on its own Alexa devices, giving Echo speaker owners their first opportunity to listen to music without a paid subscription. On November 19 — one day before Spotify’s announcement — Amazon made its free version of Amazon Music available outside of Amazon’s Echo ecosystem, on smartphones, Fire TV, and web browsers.

Spotify’s free tier gives users access to the company’s full library of music, but with conditions. You can’t access tracks directly, albums only play in random order, some curated playlists are unavailable, you’re forced to listen to ads, and the stream quality isn’t as high as with a paid premium account.

November has been a busy month for Spotify news. The company began experimenting with real-time lyrics, it introduced a new personalized playlist for podcast discovery, and it launched a tool that helps people automatically create playlists for road trips.

Updated November 21: Added info about using Spotify Free in conjunction with Alexa and Sonos

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Simon Cohen
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like spatial…
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