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Spotify Links Up With Amazon's Echo

Took a while.

James Temple for Re/code
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

It took a while, but Spotify and Amazon have started playing nicely: The streaming music service is now integrated into the Echo, Amazon’s connected speaker/shopping stimulator/robot spy machine you willingly install in your own house.

Previously you could get Spotify working on Echo, but only if you worked at it. Now you can ask Alexa, Amazon’s AI assistant, to play Spotify, or you can control it from the Spotify app on your phone.

The only catch is that the integration only works for the 20 million to 25 million people who are paying Spotify subscribers, not the ones using the free, ad-supported version of the service. That sort of makes sense, since the Echo doesn’t have any place to show the display ads that run on the free version of Spotify; on the other hand, Echo is integrated with Pandora, which also has display ads.

I asked people at both companies for an explanation and I’ll let you know if I ever hear anything. Wouldn’t count on it!

Meanwhile, I don’t make many GIFs, but I made this one a year ago, so I’m absolutely going to use it again:

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