Is there anyway to stream Spotify without upgrading to a "premium" Spotify account?

  • 25 December 2013
  • 130 replies
  • 105474 views

Userlevel 1
Maybe I just missed it in the sales literature and my pre-purchase research...but I'm surprised (disappointed really) to find out during Sonos installation that it requires a "premium" spotify account to stream spotify content in Sonos. Are there any workarounds? Thank you.

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130 replies

Userlevel 1
Really? This sucks - big time. FIX PLEASE!
Disgraceful. I can plug the Ipad into any system, earphones or Harman/Kardon for example, and play Spotify for free.
Userlevel 1
J Gatie, I went out of my way to be clear (and polite) by saying that I do not want to seem antagonistic. There is nothing wrong with representing a company’s interests so long as everyone is clear.

Thank you Ratty for clarifying the Sonos staff policy. Where I disagree, again, is on how someone who purchases a new Sonos system is expected to know that freemium streaming services (as I have described them) are not available.

You say streaming services need to monetize their efforts. Absolutely! A lot of highly paid people at streaming services have determined that freemium is/was the best model to monetize music (don’t get mad at me, get mad at Spotify, Deezer, etc…).

When I bought a stereo system from Sonos, I assumed I was buying a piece of hardware which would let me listen to music the way I typically listen to music on my PC. I am not the only one to express their surprise (some posts used the word “shock”) that this is not the case.

Now, if Sonos wants to monetize their business by selling both hardware and receiving money from subscription based services, that is fine. But this has consequences for their customers and should be made clear.. And what is so bad about letting Sonos users choose if they want to listen to ads or pay for premium subscription?

And the argument that this is in plain sight for everyone to see is not quite right. How many buyers are going to look through the customer help section before purchasing? Buyers look at the Products section which is supposed to provide specifications, features and benefits.

To summarize, I bought a product that I sincerely want to be a great product. To be great, you have to have the confidence of your customers. And it seems obvious that Sonos needs to do a better job of avoiding nasty surprises for new customers.
Userlevel 7
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requires premium for spotify.  I think Pandora is the only free streaming.
Userlevel 1
Yes when considering sonos you need to add the extra streaming costs to the purchase price. Adds up over a few years!
Really? This sucks - big time. FIX PLEASE!

Agreed ! Sonos should be capable of streaming playlists from the free version of Spotify.
Userlevel 1
SO so sooooooooooooooooooo frustrating.   I streamed my free Spotify account to my janky bluetooth speaker and didn't even use my Sonos play 5 the other day.  What an utterly moronic decision by both companies.  I'm ready to ditch Sonos since it's basically limiting what any other wireless protocol would get you, AND the windows software for local library never works.  I'm over it.
Userlevel 7
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Need help on local library working? It should always work. $29 blutooth receiver hooked to play:5 equals full Bluetooth ability.
Userlevel 1
I spent hours and hours with at least 5 techs on my old machine trying to get library to work.  It worked for a week and then stopped.  I don't have the time in their awful customer support hours to devote to the saga.  Needless to say, it didn't work on my new Win 8.1 machine either.   I appreciate the offer of help, though.  I may look into a bluetooth receiver, but seems like a massive compromise/letdown to convert digital audio to a line in and no included bluetooth functionality, in addition to the extra cost.  If I had known all of these limitations I would have bought a different system, honestly.  
Agree 100% with @TheSeeker. It takes a particular turn of mind to buy a great sounding speaker system like Sonos and then want to play the low bitrate, advert-polluted music available on Spotify free. Also, as I understand it, the decision to allow only the premium service on Sonos is Spotify's alone.

So by all means sell your Sonos kit guys, and buy a rubbish Bluetooth speaker on which to listen to your low quality music sources.
Userlevel 1
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non shit sherlock????!! Spotify do their own policy ???? no wayyyyyy . Actually sonos was launched in 2002, by first I meant first OWNING THE MARKET: Spotify has 50 MILLIONS users, sonos has ent may 1 million units so may be 500k to 1 m users. so thats 50 to a 100 times less. Spotify doesn't give damn about every hardware player thats wants to do something with them so its down to sonos to NEGOTIATE something with them. thats for the MBAs that you obviously havent got. Now beyond business lessons, What the hell are you here for? This is supposed to be for people to find HELP, not your useless comments about what people should do or not according to your business opinion no one cares about . people are her to get help and get things sorted. So provide help or go troll somewhere else.
You would think someone who brags about having 2 MBA's would have enough disposable income to afford a measly $10/month for Spotify. There's something odorous in Odense.
enough disposable income to afford a measly $10/month for Spotify
Extraordinary the lengths some will go to, doggedly putting up with Bluetooth to a Line-In instead, thereby foregoing quality and multi-stream convenience. It's not even as if the argument about functionality differences Spotify-on-Sonos vs Spotify-native still holds, since the advent of Spotify Direct.
Good grief. Pay for your music. If you don't, one day there won't be any.
Defeats the object of WiFi but does this not need another Sonos component since I only have a bridge and 2 play 1s?
Userlevel 1
Yes I think this means spending hundreds more on sonos! Now I know why they didn't put an aux on the sonos 1. Cynical marketing ploy not an engineering mistake.
Userlevel 1
I think the key questions for sonos are: 1. Why did you leave out the aux from the sonos 1? This means people can't use youtube, films, free spotify and deezer, etc. Their answer is spend hundreds more on the sonos 5 or connect! That is blatant profiteering which is short sighted as they make great speakers and could be the best if they thought longer term. 2. Why have they not negotiated a better deal for sonos customers with spotify and deezer so that sonos customers don't pay lots more money and get a worse music discovery experience?
Userlevel 1
If they were profiteering...the play5 would only work as rears making ppl spend more. But I do see your point
Please don't give them any more money making ideas!
Userlevel 7
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If using an Apple device I tried installing air sonos on my computer and then AirPlay workerd well
If using an Apple device I tried installing air sonos on my computer and then AirPlay workerd well
really hoping Sonos and Spotify work something out. it should be available for free
SO so sooooooooooooooooooo frustrating.   I streamed my free Spotify account to my janky bluetooth speaker and didn't even use my Sonos play 5 the other day.  What an utterly moronic decision by both companies.  I'm ready to ditch Sonos since it's basically limiting what any other wireless protocol would get you, AND the windows software for local library never works.  I'm over it.

I agree also ready to ditch the sonos. Very frustrating that I am unable to play podcasts over it either.
Agree 100% with @TheSeeker. It takes a particular turn of mind to buy a great sounding speaker system like Sonos and then want to play the low bitrate, advert-polluted music available on Spotify free. Also, as I understand it, the decision to allow only the premium service on Sonos is Spotify's alone.

So by all means sell your Sonos kit guys, and buy a rubbish Bluetooth speaker on which to listen to your low quality music sources.


iwas brought up on far superior speakers than the sonos I would say they are not so amazing quality...however you both make a good point about the quality of free service on Spotify.
I have tried many forum/treads on trying to get podcast to play through sonos and have not found success.would greatly appreciate some guidance if you are willing
Userlevel 1
I'm new to sonos and the world of streaming.

It seems to me that, irrespective of the advantages of premium services, Sonos does not make clear:
a) that there are specific restrictions to using streaming services(such as Spotify, Deezer, etc) with Sonos
b) their financial relationship concerning these restrictions.

My guess is that this is a collegial decision between Spotify, Deezer, etc. and Sonos to "encourage" Sonos users to purchase premium services. And, for Sonos, this makes sense if Sonos is getting a piece of the action.

If this is the case, so be it, but a little transparency up front is the least that you owe a customer who spends good money for a high end stereo purchase (and, as a reposne to one of the prevoious posts, this is not clearly stated to any normal viewer of the Sonos website). If Sonos is making money on the equipment and the streaming services, then this should be clear. Otherwise, Sonos risks losing customer trust; the basis for a long-term franchise.

I want to be able to do what I do with my PC: listen to live concerts on YouTube, search artists by name and listen to their works. This function is severely compromised with the current Sonos set-up and I am afraid that this is, precisely, part of their business model.
Wow, that's a lot of assumptions. Here are some facts:


1) Requiring a premium account is on the service provider. Sonos has nothing to do with this provision. Services like Slacker and Pandora are available free, services like Spotify and Apple Music are not, whereas Google Play Music and others allow both.

2) As plainly stated by Sonos in their Music Partners program, any and all music services can sign up and integrate with Sonos at no cost. There is no "piece of the action" going on here, except the fact some music services want to encourage you to buy their premium subscription when used on a platform that does not facilitate in-app advertising.

3) YouTube is not available via Sonos or any other WiFi based multi-room streamer, including Google's own Chromecast Audio. This is because YouTube wants to sell advertising, and these devices allow you to stream even after the video device is turned off.
Userlevel 1
Thanks for your reply jgatie. I'd like to be wrong on this one!

I don't live in the US, so Pandora and Slacker on Sonos are not available and, when I downloaded Google Play Music, it tells me the subscription service only is available.

So, I come back to my original problem which is I would like to continue to be able to listen to live concerts (via You Tune because that's what I know) and listen to specific artists via streaming. If You Tube is not an option, is there another alternative for live concerts? Is there a free streaming service which gives one access to artists as opposed to pre-packaged playlists?

If the answer is yes, then thanks in advance for helping me out. I'm sure this will help others as well.
If the answer is yes, but you have to pay for it, then I would repeat that Sonos does not make this clear up front. Again, purchasing a high end system should not involve compromises that are discovered after the purchase.
If the answer is no, well, I shouldn't have bought a Sonos system.