Want streaming music for your Google smart speakers? Don’t assume Google’s own subscription music service is the pick of the bunch.
One of the great things about Google’s smart speakers is the ability to ask for your favourite music, any time day or night. You’re not limited to signing up with Google Play Music (GPM), which is soon to be reborn as YouTube Music, there’s also support for streaming music giant Spotify.
At first glance there might not seem any difference between them, but the more time you spend with them the more you appreciate their strengths and weaknesses.
Having lived with GPM for a few years, my family decided to try Spotify after my frustration with my favourite albums slowly disappearing from Google’s music library. Google’s tight integration with YouTube is also a blessing and a curse – a GPM subscription removes YouTube ads and lets you watch premium content, but sometimes clicking on a YouTube clip on your computer kills the music on your smart speaker because you’re “using your account on another device”.
Ask for an album on your smart speaker and GPM has an annoying habit of dredging up YouTube playlists instead. Switching to Spotify solves most of these problems, but comes with its own quirks that could be deal breakers.

VERDICT If you’re only listening via smart speakers then it might be easier to stick with Google Play Music, assuming your favourite albums aren’t slowly disappearing. If you’ll listen on a range of devices then Spotify’s ecosystem is better. The jury is still out in my home, my teenagers have grown attached to Spotify because they love the app but the lady of the house is leaning back towards Google Play Music because it’s more likely to play what she actually asks for.

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