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Playing Spotify podcasts via Sonos

  • 27 November 2020
  • 37 replies
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Userlevel 3

A podcast I have listened to on Stitcher via Sonos for some time has just moved to be on Spotify only. Now searching via Sonos app for this does not find the podcast. When I search in Spotify app, it is there and I can play on my iPhone but when I try to switch playback to Sonos device, get error message for all Sonos devices “can’t play this right now”. This seems to affect only podcasts rather than playlist or artist searches. Am I correct in assuming that Spotify podcasts can be played via Sonos ? This seems odd if true. Any ideas welcome. Thanks

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Best answer by controlav 20 January 2021, 16:47

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37 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +16

Hi @mjstocker, thank you for reaching out to the Sonos community. We appreciate you for bringing this concern, let me help you out on this.

Upon checking, you can add Stitcher music service in the Sonos app. You may check-in other music services in the Sonos app if the station is available.

1. Tune-In
2. Global Player
3. Radio.com
4. Radio.net
5. Radioplayer
6. Absolute Radio 

You can also try to add the streaming URL in the Sonos app. First, you need to contact the station you wish to add directly is often the easiest way of finding the Streaming URL. Just make sure the stream is of one of the compatible formats; MP3, AAC, or WMA.

Using the Sonos App for iOS or Android:

  • From the Browse tab, select Radio by TuneIn
  • Tap My Radio Stations
  • Tap the three dots in the top right and tap Add New Radio Station
  • Enter the Streaming URL and Station Name and tap OK

Let us know how it goes and reach back to us if you have any other questions. We'll wait for your reply.

Userlevel 3

Hi Rowena

Thanks for your reply. The specific issue is that the podcast I want to listen to is ONLY available on Spotify (previously was available via Stitcher) and Sonos app (on iPhone and laptop) does not find this via search. However, if I use Spotify app search, I can find the podcast and play it on iPhone. Then if I try to switch playback to Sonos (which works fine for music tracks), then all Sonos devices greyed out with message “Can’t play this right now”. I can access other podcasts fine. This makes me think that Sonos does NOT support playback of Spotify podcasts - is this correct or is this a different issue ? Thanks

Userlevel 5
Badge +16

Hi @mjstocker, thank you for your response and for providing additional information about your concern. We appreciate your feedback. As per checking, you can play podcasts on the Spotify app to your Sonos speakers. However, streaming Spotify podcasts is not yet available in the Sonos app. What I can do is to submit this as a feature request to our engineering team so they can take a look. We don’t have information to share with you but you can check our announcements for any feature releases and updates.  Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have further questions, additional feature requests, or concerns. We are always happy to help out.

Userlevel 3

Rowena, thanks. This would be a very good feature enhancement and suspect many other users would be interested in this capability.

As per checking, you can play podcasts on the Spotify app to your Sonos speakers. However, streaming Spotify podcasts is not yet available in the Sonos app.

 

I’m trying to add a spotify podcast right now but its not working.  Based on this comment, there’s a workaround by using the spotify app instead of the sonos app?  Seems like this should be something that just works in sonos.

 

I agree. Unfortunately, it has to happen on the Spotify side of things, Sonos has no ability to change what Spotify’s servers expose to the Sonos connection/controller. All Sonos can do is point their service at the server location provided by Spotify, and show you what that server  responds with. 

Or perhaps SONOS should update their commercial agreement with Spotify to include Podcasts. Spotify podcasts not being available on SONOS except via Spotify app, sounds like a commercial decision, not a technical one.

Commercial agreement implies financial compensation. To my knowledge, and according to the stockholders report, neither company pays the other any sum of money. 

All Sonos does is point their speakers to a server location provided by Spotify, and present the information handed to them by that server. Sonos provides an API ( see the Sonos partners page for more details ) that Spotify implements on their servers, so that the data sent is in the appropriate format for the speakers and controller to interpret, but the decision as to what content that server presents to Sonos is outside of the sphere of influence of Sonos, and lies solely in the control of Spotify. 

Very similar issue with not being able to play podcasts out of spotify through Sonos.  I found by using Pocket Casts (free on IOS) I could star individual podcasts or subscribe a full series, then link link the Pocket Cast service playback though Sonos direct removing spotify from the equation.

I could then play direct through Sonos. Appreciate if Spotify is the only place it is available this will not help but Pocket Casts is pretty comprehensive (in this case it had the podcasts which were not available on Sticher).

Knulpuk

Userlevel 1
Badge +3

I just discussed a similar issue here with playing BBC Podcasts on Sonos from Spotify using the Spotify App.

If you look at my post it also links through to what Spotify had to say about it.

 

Just because BBC doesn’t technically allow it doesn’t mean that Spotify doesn’t - it could easily be lazy development from Sonos. Hopefully they will be transparent and tell us what the holdup is.

The extent that Sonos is involved in the stream is that they point to someone else’s servers, and play what is presented to them by that server. 

I used to have a tab at the top of my sonos app called podcasts. Right along side “artists” “songs” “genre” “playlist” etc. But randomly a few weeks ago this tab was removed. Guessing it was an update thats the result of some legal squabbling or something but man is it suuuuper annoying to have to open my spotify app and send to my sonos speaker. The controls within spotify dont work great for the sonos speaker and i end up then having to go back to the sonos app to control the sound and fast forward etc. 

 

please fix the app back to the way it was! Or at least let us know that the feature was removed and why...

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

I used to have a tab at the top of my sonos app called podcasts. Right along side “artists” “songs” “genre” “playlist” etc. But randomly a few weeks ago this tab was removed. Guessing it was an update thats the result of some legal squabbling or something but man is it suuuuper annoying to have to open my spotify app and send to my sonos speaker. The controls within spotify dont work great for the sonos speaker and i end up then having to go back to the sonos app to control the sound and fast forward etc. 

 

please fix the app back to the way it was! Or at least let us know that the feature was removed and why...

That list (of search categories) is supplied by each music service. The app just displays it, it comes from the service (except in the case of local library). In your case either the service changed or you are looking at a different service.

So then why does my spotify still show podcasts and a podcast tab but my sonos app does not? Any idea on how to get podcast search functionality back into my sonos app?

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

Sticher and TuneIn are the only music services I have on Sonos that support a search category of podcast. Spotify does not.

 

So then why does my spotify still show podcasts and a podcast tab but my sonos app does not?


Because Spotify chose not to include podcasts as a category in their SMAPI service. Search categories are exposed via this API: https://developer.sonos.com/reference/sonos-music-api/search/#Sample-presentation-map-configuration

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

In case there is still some belief that this is not a Spotify problem, go here:

https://sonos-pmap.ws.sonos.com/spotify_pmap.24.xml

This is the Spotify metadata file, even if you can’t read XML, go look at the SearchCategories section, and you will see this:

Note: no Podcast entry. This is either a bug in Spotify, or a deliberate decision by them.

However, if you look at the end of the file, at the QuickSkips section, you will see that there is podcast support for jumping forward/backward 15 seconds. Curious. I am going to guess that someone accidentally deleted the podcasts entry in the SearchCategories section.

Suggest someone who wants this feature sends this post to Spotify and tell them to fix it. This is as clear a bug report as could be presented to them.

In case there is still some belief that this is not a Spotify problem, go here:

https://sonos-pmap.ws.sonos.com/spotify_pmap.24.xml

This is the Spotify metadata file, even if you can’t read XML, go look at the SearchCategories section, and you will see this:

Note: no Podcast entry. This is either a bug in Spotify, or a deliberate decision by them.

However, if you look at the end of the file, at the QuickSkips section, you will see that there is podcast support for jumping forward/backward 15 seconds. Curious. I am going to guess that someone accidentally deleted the podcasts entry in the SearchCategories section.

Suggest someone who wants this feature sends this post to Spotify and tell them to fix it. This is as clear a bug report as could be presented to them.

Awesome- thank you for the thorough investigation! I definitely would not have figured it out and now feel like an idiot for my original post/speculation. I think i will just add a new service to get the podcast search feature back. THANK YOU SIR!!! (Or madam)

Added tunein and now i can find my favorite podcast via the sonos app. I hope good karma finds you, thanks again.

This is a real pain, I wish my spotify podcasts would show up in the Sonos app like all my other spotify content.

I cant play my spotify podcasts either. If this isnt a feature sonos can support then they need to work on that asap. I love my sonos but its useless if i have to bring a new speaker in to the room every time I want to listen to podcast vs music. Completely defeats the purpose. 

Again, Sonos has no control over what content Spotify presents on the server that the Sonos system connects to. That is completely in Spotify’s hands. If you want there to be additional content, such as Spotify’s podcasts, you need to contact Spotify. To my knowledge, they don’t read these forums. 

Please make it so I can create a list of favorite podcasts in spotify so I can just play myt podcasts on my sonos like I play my music from spotify on sonos. My sonos speakers don’t work with airplay so I have no way to play my podcasts.

That’s actually up to Spotify, who is in control over what content appears in the Sonos controller.  I’d drop them a note. 

Thank you for this information. It would be REALLY nice to be able to play Spotify podcasts, as my Sonos will not connect to my Spotify player. I have followed all suggestions to ‘restart’ my system and made sure the connections are consistent, but they just won’t connect. I won’t call it frustrating, bc I can play music, but I would like to be able to listen to podcasts. Cheers.

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