Spotify can now use Chromecast, with some caveats

One of the biggest holdouts for Chromecast support — that'd be Spotify — can finally take advantage of Google's excellent streaming protocol. But it's not quite as simple as it could be (or should be, perhaps), as there are a few caveats to how things are going to work.

The updated application is available now through Google Play. Here's what you can expect, and we've confirmed what Spotify laid out in its announcement post late last month:

  • If you have a new Chromecast (as in the round one), everything will just work as you'd expect. Period.
  • If you have a first-generation Chromecast (the one that kind of looks like a key), the Spotify app won't see it. Spotify says a firmware update for the Chromecast should enable support at some point. Nexus Player and Shield Tablet aren't visible, either.
  • If you want to stream through the new Chromecast Audio — or through another Cast-enabled target like the LG Music Flow speaker — you'll need to spring for the $9.99-a-month Spotify Premium services. (Which also gets rid of the ads.)

That last point is sort of a weird one though — there's nothing to keep you from playing through a new Chromecast connected to a proper receiver and stereo system, as a lot of us will do. But let's not pretend that music licensing has ever made sense.

More: Read our complete Chromecast 2015 review

Where to buy

Here's where to buy a new Chromecast for $35:

Google (opens in new tab)   Walmart (opens in new tab)  Best Buy (opens in new tab)   Currys UK (opens in new tab)

And here's where to buy a new Chromecast Audio, also $35:

Google (opens in new tab)   Walmart (opens in new tab)   Best Buy (opens in new tab)   Currys UK (opens in new tab)

  • I don't even use Spotify and this gets a big Ole UGH from me
  • Ditto, it won't affect me but this could generate a pretty poor user experience. Posted via the Android Central App
  • +1 From my Note 4
  • I use Spotify rather religiously; but, I have a PS4 that's recently "integrated" with Spotify... no need for Chromecast (for once).
  • I have premium, and I'm still not seeing the ability to cast it to my Nexus Player...
  • You uh, didn't read the article did you. Pants
  • Read the article? LOL Why should anyone bother to read the article? I mean, whatEVER.
  • Need new chromecasts anyways, and getting off BT connection would be a plus, and yes, I have Spotify premium Posted via the Android Central App
    2015 Moto X Pure
  • I think they limited it to paid memberships due to copy protection reasons. Chromecast to the tv has HDCP copy protection.
    It's not very complete protection by any means but it will prevent a casual user from recording the digital signal, analog is a different story of course that can be recorded going out of the receiver or tv but with re encoding their will be quality loss. Chromecast audio will provide a digital optical output that can be recorded with no loss of quality.
    I assume they figure if they are going to give access to that, they should at minimum have you as a paying customer.
  • Hmm. That's quite possibly what it is. Good explanation Posted via the Android Central App
  • +1 Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nice try, but as far as I can tell CC Audio doesn't have a digital out, only a 3.5mm analog line out. Also people fail to realize they can buy a $10 device that will extract hdmi-audio to both digital and analog (and seems to work fine on my OG CC without needing any display connected, so no hdcp issues... maybe that is why they don't support OG until a FW update is stricter with hdcp)
  • CC audio certainly has an optical audio output as stated in the specs.
  • It's optical. You can see the red light if you look in there. (FWIW I didn't know you could do optical in 3.5 either.) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Correct the CC audio uses a Mini-TOSLINK/3.5mm hybrid jack. There's adapters out there for people who already have standard TOSLINK cables as well.
  • Yep I already have my optical setup to my home audio system.
  • As stated below, it definitely does have optical.
    I admit their are fairly easy workarounds to hdcp, I mentioned that in my post.
    But to a bunch of people worried about licensing, it does technically support some copy protections on chromecast video but not on chromecast audio, regardless of the workarounds that exist. That is a distinct difference.
    With chromecast audio you don't need a workaround
  • It makes *zero* sense, though.  I mean, I understand the *premise* but I can just as easily record audio off the Chromecast that's plugged into my TV.  There's an optical out to the receiver, which then has a completely analog (with no HDCP) line out that I can record off of.  This is just near-sighted piracy-panic that solves *nothing*. Nobody is recording off Spotify, anyway.  If someone wants to pirate music, they're just going to download it P2P.
  • I have no problem with them limiting certain functionality to the premium version. Don't know why others would expect the free version to have full functionlity.
  • You can actually stream with the free version of the app if you cast the screen to your chromecast device (either the video or audio model). The drawback is that it affects your phone battery.
  • Um, good article, the picture though.. is that supposed to look like a naked woman? Sent with my white Note5 with nonremovable back and no SDcard!
  • It's the cover of a recent album by a female artist.  I've seen it elsewhere, recently, as a "New Release" but I don't remember the artist.
  • My Spotify on Galaxy S6 sees the Chromecast first gen, says it is connecting to it then nothing. There has been a firmware update on the Chromecast in past few weeks but maybe it needs another one.
  • um nope, don't need a new chromecast, just a working brain, seeing as you can cast ANY audio through the cast screen feature. But I suppose a working brain is something most visitors of this web site will be lacking, judging by its content.
  • That defeats the purpose of being able to send the cast command and not have your phone do the "work" of fetching the data.  Not to mention that screen-mirroring still tends to be a little janky, in my experience.
  • They limit listening on my Sonos to premium members only too, why would you expect this to be any different?
  • I pay for premium Spotify (I have since launch, 4 years ago) and I have a chromecast audio.
    I've been throughly enjoying this feature because, as much as I want to love it, Google Play Music blows.
  • Why exactly is that? I'm on trial with both services.. Spotify seems to be a lot more popular (Social interaction), desktop client is nice and all. But Google plays a lot nicer in Google/Android ecosystem (e.g. with Smartwatch or Chromecast), I also noticed although both streams at 320kbps, Google Music delivers better quality.. weird. Need to decide which services to cancel..