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Siri Comes to Spotify on iOS 13 Amid Anti-Trust Concerns

October 7, 2019, 7:47 PM UTC

Spotify users who own Apple devices installed with iOS 13 can finally use Apple’s Siri digital assistant to play a track, playlist, or podcast.

Starting on Monday, Apple device owners can listen to what they want on Spotify by saying “Hey Siri, play Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy,” for example, and then end their request with the phrase “on Spotify.” IOS 13 users can also ask Siri to navigate Spotify through their Apple’s AirPods, CarPlay software, and HomePod connected speaker.

Siri’s compatibility with Spotify’s app has been long awaited for iPhone users, who previously had to tap and swipe their way around.

The lack of Siri compatibility wasn’t Spotify’s fault. Apple only began letting outside developers work with Spotify’s app in September, well after it had let them work with Pandora and Google Maps.

The tension between Apple and Spotify, which compete in music streaming, had been high for years. In March, Spotify filed a complaint against Apple with the European Union alleging that Apple’s App Store allowed Apple to act “as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers.” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek pointed to Apple’s 30% commission imposed on third-party developers for transactions made through its App Store as just one example.

Apple’s increasing willingness to make Siri compatible with third-party apps comes amid growing antitrust concerns in Washington. One of Spotify’s previous complaints against Apple was the company’s “experience-limiting restrictions” — a move the streaming company argued effectively locked Spotify and other competitors out of services such as Siri.

In February, the Federal Trade Commission opened its a task force to monitor competition in technology including Apple. Meanwhile, the Justice Department in July opened a broad antitrust review into whether tech companies such as Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google illegally hamper competition.

In addition to announcing a tie-in with Siri on iOS devices, Spotify on Monday also said that listeners could also stream music through Apple TV, Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, and Sonos speakers such as the Sonos Move.

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