Despite huge demand amongst Spotify users for Chromecast support, the music subscription service has no plans to include Google Cast technology in its apps. Instead, the company intends to focus on the development of its own protocol, Spotify Connect.
On Spotify’s support board, there has been a colossal show of support for a request to add Chromecast compatibility. At the time of writing, 7,725 Spotify users have supported the proposal, and there has been 1,882 comments in the associated discussion thread.
The individual who filed the request for Chromecast support – under the username Arjen82 – actually updated the opening post on 24th March, 2014 to announce that they were cancelling their subscription in frustration. Arjen82 had submitted the original request some eight months earlier.
Recently, a new thread has been opened on Spotify’s community board requesting the addition of support for Google Cast for audio. This streaming feature from Google uses the same technology as Chromecast to play back sound through compatible speakers.
The same cast icon that is used by apps to deliver audio and video to Chromecast can now also be used to send music to remote speakers.
At present, the thread requesting that Spotify support Google Cast for audio is only five days old. Despite having only been created recently, the request has already been backed by 105 users.
As Google Cast for audio relies on the same technology as Chromecast, it is highly unlikely that support will be forthcoming in the immediate future.
A number of Spotify’s rivals have been supporting the Google Cast technology – as used by both Chromecast and Google Cast for audio – for some time. The music services offering the option of casting audio include Deezer, Google Play Music, Rdio and blinkbox Music.
In addition to the prominent music streaming services, there is also a large number of audio-related apps from independent developers which offer support for Google Cast.
Spotify is committed to focussing on its own in-house standard. To use Spotify Connect a compatible speaker, or Gramofon (a device which streams music wirelessly to existing audio equipment), is required.
From subscribers’ perspectives, the standard being developed by Spotify is a more expensive solution than Chromecast, with Google’s media streaming stick costing much less than any of the Spotify Connect devices available today.
There are advantages to Spotify Connect, though, both in terms of speed and convenience.
In a recent conversation with Pocket-lint, a Spotify spokesperson emphasised that the company was focussed on expanding Spotify Connect, rather than implementing support for Google Cast.
The Spotify representative highlighted the advantages that the music streaming service’s own standard offers, and also spoke of partnerships with electronics companies.
“Several of these [hardware] partners, including Gramofon and Philips, 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,” the Spotify spokesperson said.
“Additionally, as [Spotify] 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.”
It is likely that hardware partnerships will play a decisive role in determining whether Spotify Connect proves successful. If a large number of devices are released with support for the standard, some of which prove relatively inexpensive, then the lack of Chromecast compatibility is likely to become more palatable for many Spotify subscribers.