Strava and Spotify partner to bring music controls directly into your workout screen

The Strava app on the Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, both sitting on top of a pair of running shoes
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Strava will integrate Spotify music controls and playlists into its app.
  • You'll be able to play, pause, resume, skip, and browse Spotify directly from the "Record" screen.
  • This will work for both Spotify free and Premium members.

For anyone who records workouts directly from the Strava app, you likely know the struggle of swapping between this app and your music streaming app of choice, back and forth again and again. I've accidentally lost runs this way; my paused activity auto-cancels in the background while I'm looking for a new high-tempo song to run to.

But a new Strava-Spotify integration will help users have a far easier time of it. With the latest Strava update arriving on Wednesday, you'll find Spotify music playback controls available in the Record screen — assuming you have an active Spotify membership.

You'll find options to play, pause, or skip songs, as well as browse for Spotify workout playlists — all without leaving the app itself.

"We're excited to partner with a global leader like Spotify to seamlessly integrate music and movement on the platform," said Mateo Ortega, Strava’s vice president of Connected Partnerships.

As of now, it appears this will remain an exclusive partnership with Spotify, so anyone with subscriptions to popular music streaming services like YouTube Music or Apple Music may have to consider switching to Spotify. 

Strava is our top-rated running app in part because of its high-quality software, and this integration only widens the gap because other apps won't have the clout to make such a partnership. Most of our favorite fitness watches send their data directly to Strava, as well.

Among the other recent changes to Strava's platform, it also added new privacy controls recently to ensure you don't share your location data with people you don't trust, such as your home starting point.

As for Spotify, it recently implemented a new TikTok-style home page that's proven to be quite polarizing with its users. So the option to play your music through Strava instead of Spotify could be a welcome change for some users. Meanwhile, we're also still waiting for Spotify to launch its HiFi lossless tier, something it promised in 2021 and only recently acknowledged again.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.