The Amazon Echo and Alexa, its trusty voice assistant, plays nicely with a host of music services. And while by default Alexa will turn to Amazon Music to handle your entertainment requests, Spotify is the biggest music service globally, and gets the royal treatment on your Amazon Echo.
Not only can you use Spotify to play music via your Alexa smart speaker, but you can also set it as the preferred service, eradicating Amazon Music from the equation. Amazon Echo speakers also work as Spotify Connect devices, which is pretty neat, and then of course there’s voice control. Note too that Ultimate Ears has made its Alexa-powered Blast and Megablast speakers Spotify-compatible - they also work with Spotify Connect - so there are other options beyond the Echo.
Alexa offers full control of playback and your music library, with tons of commands for a more seamless control of your music. But how does it all work? Let’s get into it.
How to add Spotify to Alexa
1. Open the Alexa app
2. Tap Music and Books
3. Choose Spotify from the list
4. Log in to your Spotify Premium account with your credentials
5. Link your accounts
Can you use Spotify Free with Alexa?
No you can’t. You need a Spotify Premium account in order to use those features. If you’re not up for forking out there are some options. Firstly, Amazon Prime users can access a lot of Amazon Music’s library for no extra cost (aside from the $100 a year). Interestingly, Google Home lets you use Spotify Free as a service, so maybe Amazon will follow suit at some point.
How to make Spotify the preferred music service
It's great that Amazon has been open enough to let you use Spotify as your Echo's default audio provider instead of its own service.
To set things up, just fire up the Alexa app, go to Settings and scroll down to Music and Media. Now click on Choose Default Music Service and then make sure Spotify is checked. Press Done, which literally describes what you are.
Can you use multiple Spotify accounts?
If you want to use multiple Spotify accounts on your Amazon Echo speaker, things get complicated.
It’s not really possible to do this, but you can kind of fudge it. The Amazon Echo lets you switch between user profiles, so if you associate two Amazon accounts with different Spotify ones, you can get the desired effect.
To add additional accounts, you'll need to login to alexa.amazon.co.uk or alexa.amazon.com and head to Settings > Account > Household Profile. You can jump between them simply by saying "Alexa, switch profile".
How to play using Spotify Connect
Your Amazon Echo speakers all support Spotify connect, which means you don’t always have to use your voice. Choosing music can be easier using a phone or tablet when you don’t have to just pluck ideas from the tip of your tongue. In a Spotify app – on tablet, smartphone or laptop – you will see your Echo speakers listed among the sources.
So you’ve got started with playing back music from Spotify – but what do you say to Alexa? Here are some essential controls, and some you might not realise you can use:
The following will work without adding “from Spotify” if you’ve set the service as your default music player.
“Alexa, play [title/artist/album] from Spotify.”
“Alexa, play [playlist] from Spotify.”
“Alexa, play [genre] from Spotify.”
“Alexa, Volume up / down.”
“Alexa, set volume to level [number].”
“Alexa, stop shuffle.”
“Alexa, who is this?”
“Alexa, what song is this?”
“Alexa, when did this song/album come out?”