Hands-free “Hey Spotify” wake word rolls out

Last month, reports surfaced that Spotify was working on enabling a hands-free wake word: “Hey Spotify”. Today, I received a notification in the Spotify app on my personal Galaxy S21 device that walked through the feature and how to enable it. Let’s look at what it is and what it does.

A notification was received by the Spotify app. It brought us to a screen that prompted us to turn on “Hey Spotify”. Saying the wake phrase will prompt Spotify’s built-in voice search while the screen is on and the Spotify app is open. This means that the app is continuously listening for the wake phrase. Spotify’s privacy policy for voice data usage states that Spotify says it only holds recordings and transcriptions of the searches that you perform when tapping the voice button or saying the wake phrase.

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Hey Spotify prompts

The feature doesn’t really add any function outside of enabling Spotify’s own voice search for hands-free use. It’s just as easy to use” Hey Google” or “Hey Siri” on either Android or iOS to ask Spotify to listen to an artist, playlist, podcast, or album. Perhaps Spotify is hoping that users will be more inclined to user Spotify’s built-in voice search if it has a wake word to activate it.

Spotify’s voice search feature first launched back in 2019 for users on Spotify Premium and evidence of the Hey Spotify wake phrase was spotted as early as March 2020.

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