For the last three years, the only way to get Spotify on an Amazon Echo or Sonos speaker was to shell out for Spotify Premium - Spotify’s premium streaming service that costs $9.99/ AU$11.99 per month.
But starting today, Spotify announced that it's changing its policies allowing everyone in the US, Australia and New Zealand who own an Amazon Echo, Sonos or Bose speaker to use Spotify’s ad-supported free service instead.
For Amazon device owners that means you can use Spotify Free on your Echo devices like the Amazon Echo Dot and Amazon Echo Studio, as well as your Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire TV Cube – though you’ll need to link your Amazon and Spotify accounts to do so.
The process is a bit different for Bose and Sonos speakers, which instead use Spotify Connect via the Spotify app to stream music, but the end result of free ad-supported music is exactly the same.
Free music for all
It's been a great few weeks if you're someone who doesn't like paying for music streaming services. First, Amazon announced that it would make its Amazon Music service available to everyone, not just folks who have an Amazon Prime subscription, and now Spotify is opening up its free service to more speakers.
So, why is everyone opening up their digital catalogs to the masses?
As the music streaming market becomes more saturated with competition, the services need to make more accommodations to subscribers to keep them listening. It's the reason that Spotify, a service that enabled listeners to choose what they listen to right from the outset, overtook Pandora as the world's most popular streaming service.
Opening up these services to the masses also makes the advertising side of the business more lucrative, so whatever Amazon and Spotify lose in subscription dollars, they'll make up for advertising revenue.
TL;DR: You get free music and these services retain your business while keeping companies that advertise on the service happy.