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Spotify Connect speakers set free, no longer require premium subscriptions

Spotify says its now letting free-tier subscribers stream music over Spotify Connect-enabled speakers. In order to benefit from the change, hardware manufacturers will need to update to Spotifys latest SDK, letting you enjoy the ad-supported service over a high-quality Wi-Fi connection instead of Bluetooth. Spotifys free tier still has its limitations compared to Spotify Premium, but back in April a redesigned app gave non-paying subscribers a lot more freedom in what they can listen to. Instead of being forced to shuffle tracks across the entire catalog, Spotify gave non-paying users 15 auto-generated playlists which they could freely choose to play songs from, although they still have to listen to ads after every few tracks. There are still plenty of limitations to the service if you opt not to pay. Spotify free subscribers cant download songs, can only skip a limited number of tracks, and are confined to lower-quality audio. Still, if it was your hatred of Bluetooth that kept you paying for Premium, now might be the time to think about cancelling your subscription.

Spotify's connected device streaming is now open to free users

The ads are staying put. Spotify is giving non-paying users access to Connect audio streaming for supported speakers and devices -- a feature previously limited to Premium members. You'll still have to put up with ads though. In order to take advantage of the perk, hardware-makers will need to update to Spotify's latest SDK, allowing you to listen over WiFi instead of Bluetooth, according to The Verge. Spotify has gradually been cranking out benefits for free users, including on-demand listening in select playlists. It's also been testing the option to skip ads in its free app in Australia, with plans to roll out the function more widely. But Premium members still get exclusive access to song downloads, high-quality audio, and infinite track skips.