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Spotify extends rollout of its in-app voice assistant with “Hey Spotify” wake word

Spotify extends rollout of its in-app voice assistant with “Hey Spotify” wake word
(Image credit: Spotify)

Spotify has begun rolling out a wake word feature to allow users hands-free control of their music streaming.

As first reported by GSM Arena, Spotify subscribers of all tiers with Android and iOS devices will soon be able to use the prompt “Hey Spotify” when the app is open, to start playing a song, album or playlist.

To enable Spotify to respond to the wake word you’ll need to head to "voice interactions" within your settings page and toggle the "Hey Spotify" option. Unlike when using Google Assistant or Siri to control the music app, Spotify’s voice assistant will only work when you already have Spotify open. 

Spotify extends rollout of its in-app voice assistant with “Hey Spotify” wake word

(Image credit: @wongmjane)

A voice-activated assistant for the Swedish streaming brand was first rumoured over a year ago. After quietly testing for a few weeks, Spotify appears to be gradually rolling it out to all subscribers, with reports of Android users being the first to receive notifications alerting them to the option of granting Spotify permission to access their microphone.

The “Hey Spotify” wake word is an addition to the voice-activated search option that has previously only been available for Premium users. While it could provide useful hands-free access for some, there doesn’t appear to be any added functionality other than perhaps encouraging users to actually use voice search.

Of course, the feature could be a future tie in with Spotify's long-rumoured Car Thing, an in-car voice-controlled music device to rival CarPlay, Android Auto and Echo Auto that the green giant has been implementing into the vehicles of a select number of US Premium subscribers to learn more about listening habits when people are behind the wheel. 

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Mary is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and has over a decade of experience working as a sound engineer mixing live events, music and theatre.