Alexa and Spotify Connect: Smart Streaming With Echo Devices
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You probably know by now that Echo smart speakers are powered by Alexa, Amazon’s reigning digital voice assistant. Take that and add Spotify, the dominant service for digital audio streaming, and the result is nothing short of luxurious.
Whether your goal is to play your favorite Spotify playlist through a single Echo smart speaker or use your phone to control a multi-room, home audio system, Spotify Connect might be your solution.
So, sit back and strap in because, by the end of this article, you should be able to control all your Alexa-powered smart speakers with any one of multiple devices. Heck, you could play “Viva Las Vegas” in your New York kitchen while standing in Barcelona if you wanted to.
Why?… Because you can!
Let’s start with the basics, though…
Can Alexa Connect To Spotify?
Yes, Alexa is able to connect to Spotify, allowing you to play your favorite music on your Echo smart speakers. You have the option of either using your Amazon Echo as a regular Bluetooth speaker or connecting the two accounts by enabling Alexa’s Spotify Skill.
After enabling the skill in your Alexa app, you just need to sign into your Spotify account when prompted. We’ll cover this below with detailed instructions.
What Is Spotify Connect?
Spotify Connect is Spotify’s method of allowing you to play your music and podcasts to any Spotify-connected device. Your Spotify session is synchronized on your Spotify account in the cloud (on Spotify’s servers), which allows you to continue your session on any compatible device associated with your account.
You can also use any device to remotely control the Spotify session on the other device.
An example of this feature would be playing music from your laptop computer on your smart speaker, then picking up your phone in the other room to change the song. Maybe while in that room, you decide to change which speaker is playing also.
What if you’re using Amazon’s Echo smart speakers, though?
Is Alexa Compatible With Spotify Connect?
Spotify Connect is limited to compatible devices, such as phones, laptops, and a limited range of smart speakers designed to work with Spotify. Fortunately, Alexa-powered smart speakers fall into that category.
Spotify Connect is 100% compatible with Alexa, along with Amazon’s Echo smart speakers and displays. This allows you to control playback through any of your Echo speakers from your mobile phone, tablet or computer via the Spotify App.
If you’re familiar with Alexa, you might know that you can group Echo speakers together in different areas of your home. Spotify Connect will also allow you to select speaker groups to play your music simultaneously in separate rooms.
Alternatively, you can choose to play your music on your Fire TV or Fire Stick from the Spotify mobile app. The bonus here is that videos will also play if you’re listening to a video podcast. Or maybe, you choose to control your PC speakers from your tablet?
The options are many! But how does Spotify Connect work? Let’s dive right into that…
(Also, check out our article on selecting the best Alexa smart speaker for music…)
How To Connect Spotify To Alexa
Connecting Spotify to Alexa isn’t difficult, but following these steps will ensure that you integrate the two accounts properly for full functionality.
As part of the connection process, you will need to have the following:
- An Amazon account (Free or Prime) – Sign up here
- The Alexa app installed on your mobile device (Free)
- A Spotify account (Free or Premium) – Sign up here
- The Spotify app installed on your mobile device (Free)
You can download the apps using the following links:
1. Open The More Menu In Alexa
Open the Alexa app. From the home screen, select the “More“ menu option on the bottom right side of the menu bar at the bottom of the screen.
2. Choose The Settings Menu
The “More” menu will pop up on your screen, from which you must select the “Settings” option.
3. Choose Music And Podcast Section
On the “Settings” menu, scroll down and choose the option for “Music & Podcasts,”.
4. Link A New Service
On the “Music & Podcasts” screen, you must select the option to “Link New Service” by clicking on the “+” symbol on the right of the screen.
5. Select Spotify As A Service
The “Link Service” screen will display the services available for linking, which will include Spotify. Click on the Spotify button to indicate that this is the service you want to connect to.
The next screen will request confirmation that you want to connect Spotify to Alexa. Confirm your selection by clicking on the “Enable To Use” button.
6. Login To Spotify
This screen is where you will need to log in to Spotify using your preferred login method or your standard login credentials for Spotify.
When you have entered your credentials, click the “Log In” button.
When the login process has been completed successfully, you will see Spotify listed as a connected service.
Spotify is now set up to work with Alexa, but you may want to make Spotify your default music service. This will make voice commands much easier.
Setting Spotify As Default Music App In Alexa
The previous setup procedure has integrated Spotify with Alexa as a service, but making Spotify your default music app for Alexa will lend to a more seamless user experience.
This doesn’t mean you can’t use the other services, it just means that Spotify will be your primary application. Then, when you ask Alexa to play music, she will assume you want her to use Spotify unless you specify otherwise.
1. Open Your Alexa App and Go To Your Settings Screen
From the Alexa Home Screen, select “More” in the bottom right-hand corner. When the Menu pops up, click “Settings”.
2. Select Music & Podcasts
After selecting Settings, you’ll need to scroll down some. In the Preferences category, you’ll choose “Music & Podcasts”.
3. Choose “Default Services”
Select the first option titled “Default Services” from the menu.
4. Choose Which Catagories You Want Spotify To Be The Default Service
There are 3 subsections to this screen where you can select the default service:
- Artist And Genre Stations
To set the default music app to Spotify, click the “+” sign next to “Select default service” under the Music section. (If you already have default services selected, you will need to choose “Change”.)
5. Choose Spotify As The Default Music App
Your available services will be displayed. Select Spotify from the list. To confirm your change, you should now see Spotify listed as the default app for the selected category (or categories) on the following screen.
Using Spotify Connect
Using Spotify connect is incredibly easy and intuitive. Once you have your Alexa account integrated with your Spotify account, they now have access to eachothers information to the extent that they need to effectively communicate.
For intance, Spotify now knows all your speaker names and Alexa will allow Spotify to play music on whichever you desire. In this section, we’ll cover a few basics to show how easy it is to use Spotify Connect.
1. Play A Song On Spotify And Open Spotify Connect Menu
Let’s start on your phone. Open Spotify, select a playlist or a song, and hit play. The music should now be playing from your phone’s speakers, unless you are connected to a bluetooth speaker or headphones.
You’ll see an icon near the play bar controls, which looks like a computer monitor and a speaker superimposed over it.
2. Select The Preferred Playback Device
After clicking the Spotify Connect icon, Spotify will display available playback devices associated with your account.
This list will include devices such as your mobile phone, laptop, Echo smart speakers, Fire Stick, and other compatible devices.
Selecting a device from the list will transfer the output audio to the selected device. You can also select a group of speakers you have linked in Alexa.
For instance, if you have an Echo in your living room and an Echo Show in your kitchen, you could create a group called “Living Area” and then play the music for that particular group.
You could create a group of Echo smart speakers that encompass every room in your house if you wanted and then create a group called “Everywhere.” Selecting this group would play your music chosen from Spotify throughout your entire home.
3. Controlling Your Spotify Connect Playback From Virtually Any Device
So, you started a playlist on your “Everywhere” group using your phone. You set your phone down and walk into your office. Let’s say the next song comes on and you want to skip it… now what?
No worries, just reach over and pull Spotify up on your computer!
One of the advantages of Spotify Connect is that you can use just about any compatible device as a remote control for whichever device playing the music. You could even play music on your Fire Stick’s Spotify app and then control it the same way from your computer or phone.
Spotify Connect, paired with Alexa, can really take your listening experience to the next level. It gives you the added features of voice control and the ability to group speakers and locations in your home however you wish.
It’s quick to set up, easy to use and, best of all, you can try it out for free!