Spotify is getting its own wake word

(Image credit: George Dolgikh /

Spotify has begun rolling out its own wake word, allowing users to activate the app on their phone or smart speaker and control their music hands-free via voice commands.

To use the feature you’ll need to say the wake phrase, ‘Hey, Spotify’, and then request an artist, album or song that you want to listen to.

Spotted by GSM Arena, reports of Spotify adding its own wake word surfaced as early as last month, but the company has now begun to roll out the function as an official update. Users are receiving notifications from Spotify that introduce the wake word feature and walk them through the basic steps to make use of it.

There are a few conditions that have to be met for the wake word to work. Your device’s screen needs to be on, the Spotify app must be open, and the relevant permissions will need to be granted to allow the app to access your device’s microphone.

OK, Spotify

Spotify introducing its own wake word might seem like a strange addition, especially when the feature is typically found in AI voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant, both of which already have Spotify integration. Presumably Spotify wants its own, official wake word that can be used regardless of the user’s device of choice.

The wake word may also be a step in the right direction in terms of accessibility. Not everyone will have the technical knowhow to set up Spotify integration with an external voice assistant, so having one baked into the Spotify app certainly cuts out the middleman in that regard.

One last thing to keep in mind is that Spotify will be constantly listening for the wake word in your environment when the feature is enabled. If you’re concerned about privacy, Spotify insists that it only holds recordings of the wake word and your voiced search, as per the company’s privacy policy, so you can rest assured that the feature won’t be used to eavesdrop on your conversations.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.