Spotify Users Frustrated by the Lack of HomePod Support | Whose Fault Is It?

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It’s fair to say that there’s no love between Apple and Spotify. The two companies have been heated rivals in the music streaming business for years. In fact, on more than one occasion, Spotify has accused Apple of anti-competitive behaviour, claiming that the iPhone maker is locking out access to key features of its platform for rival streaming services.

There’s little doubt that Apple Music enjoys the kind of home-field advantage that can only come from building both the hardware and software platforms together. However, it’s much more debatable whether Apple is deliberately stifling Spotify and other services by denying them access to the same features.

In fact, over the past few years, Apple has actually gone out of its way to open up many aspects of the iOS ecosystem to third-party music streaming apps, ranging from Siri to native HomePod playback. Yet, for all of its complaints, Spotify has been very slow to pick up that ball and run with it.

Now, it seems that many of the service’s subscribers have decided they’ve had enough of waiting for HomePod support, and some are even jumping ship to Apple Music to get it.

When Apple announced over a year ago that third-party music services would be supported on the HomePod, Spotify fans became hopeful. A feature request was posted on the Spotify Community forums not long after the news came out at WWDC 2020, yet when Apple unveiled iOS 14 last fall, Spotify was nowhere on the list of supported music services. Even Deezer beat Spotify to the HomePod earlier this year.

The original list included Pandora, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio,, and TuneIn. Although, to be fair, Amazon Music still hasn’t materialized over a year later. At least it was mentioned, though. By contrast, neither Apple nor Spotify have really said anything about whether Spotify will ever come to the HomePod.

Now that it’s apparent that the ball is in Spotify’s court, its customers are getting frustrated. The original June 2020 feature request has grown to a 104-page thread, filled mostly with folks who are vocally upset with the service provider for dragging its heels.

You complained months ago about Apple’s lack of openness to third-party music apps. Now that Apple is giving you the ability to implement a feature on their devices, back off. Why?

tfabb, Spotify Community Forums

To add insult to injury, it took over 800 posts before Spotify even acknowledged the request from its users, with an update on June 14 that it had “gathered the votes necessary” to be passed on to Spotify’s internal teams.

Your suggestion has gathered the votes necessary, and your feedback is now reaching the internal teams at Spotify. They’re aware of the vote count and popularity of this idea. We’ll continue to monitor and check out the comments here, too.


Although it’s unclear what’s going on inside Spotify, this suggests that the company wasn’t even considering the idea after Apple’s initial announcement, despite numerous complaints by its CEO only weeks before WWDC 2020 that Apple was the only reason that Spotify wasn’t available on the HomePod.

Moving at a Seemingly Glacial Pace

This is far from the first case in which Spotify has seemed glacially slow to adopt new Apple platform features, but it makes the complaints of the company’s leadership seem all the more hypocritical.

In fact, Spotify’s late adoption of new Apple features seems to be the rule:

  1. Spotify didn’t roll out an Apple Watch app of any kind until 2018, three years after the wearable debuted. While it’s fair to say that some of this was on Apple, the initial Spotify watchOS app was nothing more than a remote control for Spotify on the iPhone, and that’s something Spotify could have done from day one. Spotify claims Apple rejected its watchOS app several times, but it never explains why.
  2. The Apple Watch Spotify app took two more years to gain direct streaming and then another six months for offline playback support. By Spotify’s own admission, the 2018 release of watchOS 5 “allowed the Spotify team to start developing offline functionality,” yet it acknowledges it didn’t roll out until October 2020.
  3. Despite Apple letting third-party apps use Siri support in iOS 13, it took Spotify almost a year to add this. Since Apple announced the feature at WWDC 2019, most other streaming apps had this ready to go almost as soon as iOS 13 hit the streets in September.
  4. Spotify is also almost the only major streaming app that still doesn’t support Apple’s AirPlay 2, which was introduced in 2018 — and made available to third-party developers at the same time.

So, it’s probably not that big of a surprise that HomePod support hasn’t been high on Spotify’s list, and in this case, it’s not the only streaming service that hasn’t arrived. As we noted earlier, even though Apple proudly announced last fall that Amazon Music would be coming, it hasn’t shown up yet, and its absence remains a mystery.

Notably, however, the lack of AirPlay 2 support makes the omission of native HomePod playback even worse, since even streaming to a HomePod from Spotify on an iPhone is an experience that many users describe as “unlistenable” due to its reliance on the older — and now defunct — first-generation AirPlay protocol.

Spotify, the clock is ticking. Once my free Apple Music sub expires, I will be cancelling family Spotify and moving to Apple music unless you at least implement decent Airplay2 support. Spotify is unlistenable on Homepods because of dropouts on Airplay, and I’m not paying for 2 music streaming services. I’m sad to leave. Please grow up and behave in the interests of your customers.

WoodyInWoddley, Spotify Community Forums

According to reports from numerous Spotify users, the streaming provider regularly deflects these concerns back to Apple, still trying to suggest that it’s up to Apple to support it. Meanwhile, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has become much quieter lately about platform feature limitations, choosing instead to focus on the 30 percent App Store commission — a fee that Apple says applies to less than 1 percent of Spotify subscribers since most just pay for the service directly through Spotify’s website.

Beyond our frustrations, what Spotify is doing here is they’re blocking the progression of the music industry. So many more people now work from home and a lot of them have HomePods. Imagine how many more times those songs would’ve been listened to if Spotify didn’t act like a toddler here. Shame on you Spotify.

Beyhka, Spotify Community Forums

The Spotify Community Forums are also filled with complaints from long-time Spotify users — some of whom have been using the service since its inception in 2009 — accusing the company of playing games and exhibiting childish behaviour in its fight with Apple.

You complain and complain about Apple’s “anti-competitive” practices. But when they finally provide a level playing field where you can natively integrate with Homepod and Siri, you refuse? It is childish and embarrasing.

Lyckster, Spotify Community Forums

Regardless of whether this is a political game to bolster Spotify’s antitrust case in the court of public opinion or simply a matter of limited engineering resources, Spotify’s customers are tired of waiting.

In a house full of Apple products, I guess it’s time to switch to Apple Music instead.

Ian92, Spotify Community Forums

Dozens of folks in the Spotify Community forums have said they are canceling their subscriptions and switching to Apple Music. In fact, almost all of the last 200 posts on the discussion thread are from users who are either threatening to switch to Apple Music or have done so already. A few have said they may consider coming back if Spotify gets its act together, but it’s a done deal for many as the trust has already been broken.

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