Smartwatch maker Garmin announced a partnership with Spotify to merge the music streaming service into its Fenix 5 Plus series of smartwatches. Garmin Fenix 5 plus users can now download the new Spotify app from Garmin’s Connect IQ app store. The Spotify integration to the Fenix 5 Plus series allows users to download playlists for offline listening.
The Fenix 5 Plus, which is Garmin’s most popular watch, could previously control music on the phone from the watch. Now, with a Spotify Premium account, anyone can sync playlists to the Fenix 5 Plus via Wi-Fi and then access the playlists through the watch’s Spotify app.
The Fenix 5 Plus series, containing the newest Fenix devices, are also some of Garmin’s most expensive wearables, starting at $549 for a Fenix 5. All music storage is a regular feature on all Fenix 5 Plus models, users were previously limited to downloading personal tracks or playlists from iHeartRadio or Deezer if they are paid subscribers.
Now, with Spotify becoming part of the music source for Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, Spotify Premium users can listen to music without their smartphone nearby.
Unlike other devices like the Apple Watch Series 4, Fenix 5 Plus smartwatches don’t have built-in LTE. So, users won’t be able to stream Spotify music, but they can download tracks for offline listening using Bluetooth headphones connected to their smartwatch.
Currently, Spotify is the number 1 music streaming service, with 83 million Premium subscribers in June and more than 180 million active users. By contrast, Apple Music had only 40 M Premium subscribers as of April, 2018. But even Premium users of Spotify haven’t had much access to music on their smartwatches. Up until now, only Samsung Gear wearables supported a Spotify app.
The Spotify integration is a big advancement, as far as number of users is concerned, for Garmin – a company that makes all types of wearables, from simple bands to smartwatches.
At present, the Spotify app will only work on Fenix 5 Plus, but it will probably be available on other Garmin watches soon.