In an apparent raising of the middle finger towards thousands of users who have asked for the feature, Spotify has explained that it won’t be integrating Google Cast features into its music service, instead preferring to focus on Spotify Connect instead.
Instead of opening their service so users of the $49 Chromecast dongle can stream their music to their TV or stereo without spending big, Spotify has opted to stick with Spotify Connect, so that users can buy expensive (and often single-feature) speakers, HiFi units, and more to stream music. Missing the point completely, a Spotify spokesman told Pocket Lint:
“We launched Spotify Connect because we believe that by owning the technology end-to-end, we can deliver the best connected home music experience. Connect’s advantages are already evident, with hundreds of devices from the world’s leading brands integrated.
Several of these partners, including Gramofon and Philips [Ed: Both of which aren’t available in Australia], are already building devices which remove the mobile/tablet from the experience altogether, meaning picking up where you left off is as simple as tapping a button on your device.
Additionally, as Connect offers a faster experience than other solutions it can provide near-instant response times, and lets users who haven’t invested in new hardware control their existing devices. For example, by using a mobile to control their laptop or tablet.”
Let’s look at some of this. Spotify wants you to buy new, expensive hardware to stream their music, instead of using a multi-purpose $49 dongle that you may well already have, or can buy without breaking the bank. Okay.
Spotify Connect, being a proprietary protocol, offers a faster experience and near-instant response times. Last I checked, Google Cast offers a pretty damned fast response time too, and thousands of users are asking to be able to use it with Spotify, evidently preferring cost and convenience over a second or two of “response time”.
While Spotify hasn’t seen the benefits of supporting widely available and affordable hardware, it seems that hardware manufacturers have figured out that Google Cast is actually kind of cool, with the announcement at CES 2015 of a number of speaker and audio solutions that support Google Cast for Audio, while also offering Spotify Connect compatibility.
So there you have it folks. If you want ChromeCast, don’t bother with Spotify. If you want Spotify, give up on ChromeCast compatibility — it isn’t coming, and from the tone of Spotify’s comments, won’t ever be.