How to Play a Spotify Playlist with Alexa
The integration of Spotify and Alexa is a match made in heaven. You get to listen to your favorite music, podcasts, and playlists without lifting a finger. If there’s some setting-up to make it all work.
That said, linking the two apps is straightforward. In this article, we’ll take you through the process every step of the way. Plus, there are some bonus tips at the end to take full advantage of the integration.
Before You Start
To sync Spotify and Alexa, you need a premium account on Spotify. More importantly, you need an Alexa-enabled speaker that supports streaming from this music app.
Amazon Echo owners needn’t worry, as each model allows Spotify streaming. The same goes for some other speakers like the Sonos One, but this isn’t a general rule. It’s best to double-check before you proceed.
Important Note: This article assumes you’ve already set up your smart speaker and logged in to Spotify and the Alexa app.
Linking Alexa and Your Spotify Account
The first thing to do is set Spotify as the default music player for Alexa. Here are the necessary steps.
- Launch the Alexa app and hit the hamburger icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
- Tap Settings at the bottom of the slide-in menu.
- Once inside the Settings menu, choose Music & Podcasts beneath the Alexa Preferences tab.
- On top of the Music menu, there is a “Link New Service” option. Tap on it and choose the Spotify thumbnail in the following window.
- Then, log in to your Spotify account via Facebook or your email. Now, hit Okay in the next window to proceed.
- When you log in, a permission screen appears asking you to allow Alexa access to Spotify. Select Allow, and a window pops up informing you that you’ve successfully connected the accounts.
- Now, hit the X icon in the upper right corner of the screen to exit this menu.
- Access the Music tab on the Alexa app again; Spotify appears with your account name under Account Settings.
- Then, tap the “Default Services” button and choose Spotify under the “Default Music Library.” A blue checkmark shows that you’ve successfully selected the app.
- When you finish, select Done, and you’re good to go.
Note on Spotify Alexa Skill
You can download and enable the Spotify skill to use on your smart speakers. The installation and set-up process is pretty similar to the one described above. You should be able to do it without any particular guidance.
However, the Spotify skill can be buggy and unresponsive to your requests. A quick way to deal with this is to restart or soft reset the device after enabling the skill.
If the skill is still unresponsive, you might need to update Alexa or use your smartphone as described above.
How to Play a Spotify Playlist on Alexa
After you connect the apps and finish the setup, Alexa will play music from Spotify by default.
To play a specific playlist, you should say: “Alexa, play [the playlist name].” You should note that there is no need to add “my” or say something like: “Alexa, play my [the playlist name.].” That might confuse the app, and Alexa would respond that it can’t do it.
Of course, you can also choose which playlist you want to play right from the Alexa app too. This will bypass the voice command but it’s the perfect option if you don’t know which playlist you want to listen to or what you named it. To activate a playlist using the app, do this:
- Open the Alexa app and tap on Play.
- Scroll through the Spotify Playlists section and tap on the one you want to listen to.
- Choose the Alexa device that will play your Spotify playlist.
Your music will automatically begin to play on the device you select. If you want to play from a source other than Spotify, simply say “Alexa, play [Name of Playlist] on Pandora.’ Or select the playlist directly from the app as we did above.
The great thing about playing music with Alexa is that you can also lower or raise the volume via voice commands, jump tracks, or ask Alexa to repeat a song. Also, you can get information about a particular song in the playlist.
Alexa Won’t Play my Playlist
It can be rather frustrating when Alexa won’t cooperate. It’s normal if Alexa plays a random sound every once in awhile because she didn’t hear you correctly, but it’s entirely different if she won’t play any of your songs at all. There are some simple fixes if Alexa isn’t cooperating with your music requests.
Of course, the first thing you should do is try restarting Alexa. But, if it still doesn’t work, make sure Spotify is set as your default music player. To do this, tap on the three horizontal lines in the lower right-hand corner. Next, tap Settings and scroll down to ‘Music & Podcasts.’ Select ‘Default‘ and enable Spotify. This should clear up your problem if it’s a connection issue.
If Alexa is still having difficulty understanding you, it may be time to update your Playlists’ name. If you’re telling Alexa to play your “Heavy metal playlist,” she may come back with some random sounds. But, if you change the playlist name, she’ll likely respond with the music you want.
To do this, open Spotify and tap the three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner after tapping on the playlist you’re editing. Tap on the playlist name and type a new one. Then click ‘Save.’
Lastly, some users have reported that Alexa will not activate their playlist if the shuffle is turned on. Head over to the playlist and turn off the shuffle function at the top. Assuming you’re logged into the right account, these methods should fix your musical woes.
Connecting Alexa to Spotify offers so much more than just playing a particular playlist or song. Here are some commands and tricks you might find useful.
1. Create an Alexa Routine for a Spotify Playlist
Chances are you have a favorite playlist you listen to often. You can create a routine that triggers that playlist. Here’s the route to do it:
Alexa App > Hamburger Icon > Routines > Plus Icon > “When This Happens” > Add Action > Save
With this, you can say: “Alexa, playlist,” and the favorite one will start automatically. Of course, you can always go back to the routines section and edit your preferences. And there is an option to set routines for different playlists, though you should make sure to name them appropriately.
2. Playing Spotify Daily Mix and Discover Weekly
Since Spotify is already your default player, listening to the Daily Mix or Discover Weekly is a no-brainer. You should say: “Alexa, play + Daily Mix/Discover Weekly,” and the playback will start in an instant.
And if you like one of the songs you hear, command: “Alexa, like this song.”
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve included this section to answer more of your most frequently asked questions about Alexa and Spotify.
How do I pause or skip a song?
Alexa is actually pretty useful when it comes to following commands. If you want to pause your song and pick it back up later, just say “Alexa, pause the song.” When you’re ready to listen again, just say “Alexa, resume the song.” She’s pretty good about following through.
If you want to listen to a different song within your playlist, just say ‘Alexa, skip this song.’
Can I listen to Spotify on my Alexa without syncing the accounts?
Absolutely! You don’t have to pair the accounts to listen to Spotify, but if you don’t, you won’t have the full functionality of Alexa’s commands either. All you need to do is connect your device to Alexa via Bluetooth.
Once paired, open Spotify and begin playing your music just like you would any other speaker. If you need to change the playlist or pause a phone, you’ll have to do so from your phone.
Alexa, Finish This Article
Finally, there should also be an option to add a specific song to a playlist. However, we haven’t tested this out. Feel free to give it a try and tell us if it works.
What kind of playlists do you have on your Spotify? Do you use any other music app? Share your preferences with the rest of the TJ community in the comments section below.