NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — In a bid to expand the reach of their ad-supported streaming tier, Spotify announced that Spotify Free will be available on all Spotify Connect-enabled smart speakers.
Previously, only Spotify Premium subscribers were able to stream the music service via internet-connected speaker systems.
However, before users can start to stream ad-supported music and podcasts, hardware manufacturers (many of which operate rival streaming services) will need to update their firmware with the latest Spotify SDK
Spotify Connect, which first launched back in 2013, allows users to connect via wi-fi instead of the much more limited Bluetooth, and play music on compatible Wi-Fi devices, such as wireless speakers, smart TVs, soundbars, and smart speakers.
However, before users will be able to use the updated service, hardware manufacturers will need to update to Spotify’s latest SDK, letting you enjoy the ad-supported service over a high-quality Wi-Fi connection instead of Bluetooth.
“The release of our new eSDK will change the game for Spotify’s Free users who want to enjoy music on their connected speakers. We look forward to supporting our partners over the coming months as they update existing speakers and bring new products to market.” Spotify Senior Product Director Mikael Ericsson said. “We look forward to supporting our partners over the coming months as they update existing speakers and bring new products to market.”
The shift could be impactful for Spotify. While the company has substantially grown its premium subscriber roles this year, more than half of the streamer’s listeners still use the freemium tier. Letting those users connect smart speaker systems in their homes and cars will likely drive advertising revenue for Spotify.