If you're a Spotify subscriber and own an Apple Watch, you might be among the lucky beta testers getting their Spotify playlists streamed directly through their connected timepiece. According to German blog iPhone Ticker (via AppleInsider), some Apple Watch users have been seeing an icon on their screen showing a beta badge from Spotify. If you are involved in the beta, you will see the aforementioned icon under the connected devices screen.
Those who are part of the beta will be able to stream music from their Spotify account even if they have left their iPhone at home. Currently, the Spotify app on an Apple Watch can only be used as a remote control for the Spotify app on the iPhone. When the beta is enabled, Apple Watch users can choose more than an iPhone or a Spotify Connect speaker as the playback target. Instead, the Watch icon can be used to make the Apple Watch itself the source of the playback, which would be streamed over an LTE network. Those selected to be part of the beta testing have no say in the matter as it is a random process and Apple Watch users cannot simply opt-in.
Spotify has been blasting Apple because of the 30% cut that Apple takes for itself on in-app purchases made through the payment platform on the App Store. Last year, Spotify complained to the European Commission (EC) pointing out that the so-called Apple Tax gives Apple Music an unfair advantage in the App Store. Spotify is also complaining about the recently launched Apple One services bundle that includes Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, and 50GB of iCloud storage priced at $14.95 per month. Other versions of the bundle are available priced up to $29.95 per month.
In a statement referring to Apple One, Spotify says that the services bundle "threatens our collective freedoms to listen, learn, create, and connect."