Spotify brings offline playback to Apple Watch

It took a while, but the long-awaited feature has arrived.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
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Eli Blumenthal
2 min read
Spotify on Apple Watch

Spotify Premium members will be able to save music and podcasts for offline listening on their watches. 


If you're on  Spotify and have an Apple Watch , you'll soon be able to listen on the go without an iPhone . On Friday the music streaming giant announced that it's begun rolling out the ability to download playlists for offline listening to Apple's wearable, bringing the Apple Watch on par with devices from Fitbit, Samsung and Garmin. It means runners, for example, will be able to listen to music without having to carry their iPhone -- the Watch will stream the music to wireless headphones.

You'll need an Apple Watch Series 3 (or later) to use the new feature, and you'll also need a subscription to Spotify Premium. A Premium membership runs $10 (£10, AU$12) a month for one account, $13 (£14, AU$17) a month for two accounts or $16 (£17, AU$19) a month for six accounts on a Family plan. A student option is also available for $5 (£6, AU$6) a month. 

Spotify also says your watch will need to be on at least WatchOS 6.0, with the company recommending you download WatchOS 7.1 or later. 

To transfer a playlist onto the Apple Watch, you'll need to open the updated Spotify app on your iPhone and head to the playlist you want to move onto the watch. From there, tap the three dots along the top of the playlist and select download to Apple Watch. The company says the new offline feature will also work with albums and podcasts and is available globally. 

It's worth noting that the Apple Watch has more limited storage compared to iPhones. Whereas the Series 5, 6 and SE all offer 32GB of space, older models like the Series 3 (8GB) and Series 4 (16GB) have much less. If you have an older Apple Watch and a massive playlist, you may want to create a more curated selection for your Watch. 

Spotify says that the first version of this feature will stream audio in 96Kbps (what the company calls "normal" audio quality). You will be able to delete podcasts and playlists from the Spotify app on your phone and then sync it with your watch to better manage storage.