“Hey Spotify” is a new wake word to launch music hands-free

“Hey Spotify” is a new wake word to launch music hands-free

Spotify is rolling out support for a wake word that will give you hands-free control over your music. Just say “Hey Spotify,” followed by the song, artist, album, or playlist you want to play.

The new wake word was first discovered by GSMArena, which accessed the new feature on Android. The website writes they were prompted by a popup explaining how the feature works.

“Enjoy your music anywhere and go hands-free with ‘Hey Spotify,'” a prompt reads. “Introducing the easiest way to keep the beat going.”

Images via the Spotify app on iOS

In addition to being available on Android, “Hey Spotify” support is also rolling out on iOS, too. GSMArena notes that Spotify’s privacy policy for voice data usage says it only holds recordings and transcriptions of the searches you perform when tapping the voice button or saying the wake word. That means it’s always listening.


The new functionality only works when Spotify is open, so you can’t just say “Hey Spotify” when you’re not in the app. In that case you’d have to invoke Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant to play music via Spotify. Hey Spotify isn’t quite as convenient as calling on your device’s built-in assistant, but anytime we can interact with our phone hands-free, especially while driving, it’s a win in our book.

Spotify has actually been working on a wake phrase for several months now, with app researcher Jane Manchun Wong discovering evidence back in March 2020. On iOS, I was able to turn the feature on by going to Spotify’s Settings > Voice Interactions > Enable Voice. It’s unclear if the feature is available to all Spotify users.

It’s also unclear what Spotify will gain by introducing a wake phrase to its service, although there’s been reports that the streaming service might introduce a dedicated in-car music player.

Spotify: Music and Podcasts
Developer: Spotify AB
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About author

Brandon Russell
Brandon Russell

Brandon's love of technology can be traced back to his childhood, when he would obsessively watch Back to the Future. Since then he's followed the industry and its many innovations, from handheld consoles to powerful smartphones. He's still waiting on a hoverboard.

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