The arrival of the Apple HomePods is being heralded as the beginning of the end for Spotify in its war against Apple Music. But instead of boasting about the fact that its service has already been in homes for years, thanks to a variety of Spotify-connected speakers, the music streaming service does the complete opposite. It has just cut off a large number of those older speakers from its Spotify Connect service, leaving most, though not all, scrambling to work around this major loss of functionality.
To be fair, Spotify did give users a heads up quite a while back. A warning, however, doesn’t exactly the decision to ax support for these speakers more sensible or even acceptable. In a statement to The Verge, Spotify explains that this due to the upgrade of its backend platform, which dropped support for older speakers and TVs. For other types of newer content, like 4K videos, VR, and such, that might make sense. For music streaming, probably not so much.
Some manufacturers and users are lucky. Spotify says that these devices only need to have their firmware updated to have the speakers working with Spotify Connect again. These brands include:
On the other hand, these are the brands whose speakers will no longer work with Spotify Connect completely:
• Bang & Olufsen
It’s not that these speakers will be rendered completely useless. Depending on their features, Spotify users can still stream their music via Bluetooth or using accessories like Chromecast Audio. That said, this is really just a workaround, and one that might involve additional purchases.
If you bought one of these Spotify Connect speakers exactly because you could play Spotify directly on them without need of a smartphone, then it’s completely understandable if you’re more than just disappointed at this change, technically sound as it may be. Spotify has effectively thinned out its ranks and turned away some users, just when Apple is set to launch its biggest assault yet.