7 tips for listening to Spotify on Google Home

Two great tastes that sound great together.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
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Matt Elliott
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Google Play Music is the default music service for Google Home , which should come as no surprise. There is no reason, however, that Spotify subscribers need to switch to Google Play Music after buying Google's voice-controlled smart speaker. Google Home plays nice with Spotify so you can keep your carefully curated library, all of your playlists and access to Spotify's 30-million song library. Here are seven tips on how to use Google Home to control your tunes on Spotify.

1. Default to Spotify

First off, you will need a Spotify Premium account and not just the free, ad-supported version in order to get things going with Google Home. You need to link your Spotify Premium account to Google Home using the Google Home app. To do so, launch the app, tap the menu button in the top-left corner, tap Music and then tap the little link button for Spotify on the main Music page and log in to your Spotify Premium account.

With your account linked, you can request music from Spotify by saying, "OK, Google, play The Clash on Spotify" but you can drop the "on Spotify" bit if you make Spotify the default music service for Google Home. You can do that from the same Music settings page in the Google Home app by tapping Change Default and selecting Spotify from the list.


2. Play your playlists

Google Home knows your Spotify playlists, so you can say, "OK, Google, play my party playlist" or "OK Google, play Discover Weekly." I love being able to queue up my Discovery Weekly playlist each week using Google Home, but I have less luck with getting it to play the Daily Mix playlists that Spotify throws together each day. Google Home seemingly understands my command to "Play my Daily Mix 3" playlist, for example, but the Daily Mix playlists that Google Home queues up never match the Daily Mix playlists in my Spotify app.

3. Listen by genre

In summer, I listen to a lot of reggae. I can say, "OK, Google, play some reggae" and it'll queue up a reggae playlist. Pick your genre, and Google Home will find a playlist for you. It seems to repeat the same playlist for the day but finds a different one the next day so, I'm not, for example, stuck listening to the same reggae playlist all summer.

4. Shuffle your library

Say, "OK, Google, play my library" and Google Home will shuffle and play the songs you've added to your Spotify library.

5. Curate your library

You don't need to use the Spotify app to add songs your library. When a song is playing, just say, "OK, Google, save this song [or playlist or album or artist]." You can also do the reverse to remove items from your library.

6. Like songs out loud

Spotify learns your musical tastes by your listening habits and the songs you tell it you like and dislike. With Google Home, you can say, "OK, Google, thumbs up" or, "OK, Google, I dislike this song" and vice versa. The more songs you tell Spotify you like and dislike, the better your Discover Weekly and Daily Mix playlists will be.

7. Follow along on your phone

Curious what song is playing? You can ask, "OK, Google, what song is this?" and Google Home will quickly duck in and tell you the song title and artist before resuming the song. The Spotify app, however, also keeps track of the music you've asked Google Home to play, so you can also check the app to see what song is playing and what songs are coming up without interrupting the music.