Spotify is trying to stay ahead of Amazon Music by giving away the Google Home Mini

A smarter way to listen.
A smarter way to listen.
Image: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
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Spotify announced today (Oct. 31) that starting Nov. 1, it is giving away a free Google Home Mini to subscribers in the US that have a Spotify “Premium for Family” plan.

New and existing family plan holders can sign up for the deal, but the offer will only last until the end of the year. The Home Mini is Google’s equivalent to Amazon’s Echo Dot—a speaker that has a virtual assistant, in this case Google Assistant rather than Amazon’s Alexa, built in.

Up to six people can share a family account for $14.99 a month, and the Home Mini will be able to recognize just as many voices once Voice Match is configured. But while a free $50 gadget seems like a holiday giveaway, it’s just one component in a strategic partnership.

The Verge points out that Amazon Music has been experiencing rapid growth, largely by leveraging Echo products, so Spotify’s partnership with Google Home is a smart way to increase the number of listeners who use Spotify through smart speakers. (Spotify did not immediately respond to requests to comment.)

A study by Adobe Analytics also found that nearly 50% of US homes will have smart speakers by the end of the year, which means Spotify can also ride on that trend, which Amazon has so far dominated, via the Home Mini. As Tech Crunch reports, it’s also a boon for Google, which can capitalize on pre-existing Spotify subscribers (there are over 80 million, although not all these are family plan users) to get into people’s homes.

Market research firm MusicWatch found that paid streaming subscribers are 240% more likely buy a smart home gadget, meaning the partnership will also expose the Home Mini to users who are more willing to buy it, and Spotify can capitalize on those who might have needed the extra nudge to subscribe.