If you rely on a Spotify Free account to listen to music and podcasts, your options for how to listen have diminished this week without any warning.
As 9To5Google reports, it looks as though Spotify decided to quietly remove the ability to cast audio using a Spotify free account to Google Assistant smart speakers and smart displays. Anyone attempting to do so will now be presented with a “Premium only” notice appearing beneath the device they are attempting to cast to.
For now, there’s no official confirmation this change has happened or if it applies to other non-Google Assistant devices, but if it’s a feature you use regularly, signing up for a $9.99/month Premium account or $14.99/month Family account is required to get it back. The recently announced HiFi subscription plan will no doubt include the feature, too.
As 9To5Google points out, there is a workaround, but no guarantee it will continue to work for much longer. If you directly link your Spotify Free account within the Google Home app it’s possible to ask it to play specific podcasts or playlists, which overcomes the limitation and allows the audio cast to happen.