How to make Amazon Echo default to Spotify or Pandora

The Amazon Echo lights up when it recognizes you are making a request.
It's easier than ever to get the Amazon Echo to play tracks from Spotify Premium.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Barking out a song request at my Amazon Echo smart speaker, then hearing the track magically start playing, makes me feel like I’m living in the future.

Unfortunately, that feeling evaporates when the song isn’t part of the relatively skimpy Amazon Prime Music catalog. If it’s not there, Amazon’s AI assistant Alexa queues up an annoying 30-second sample — and that makes me realize I’m living in the very buggy present.

Luckily, you can fix that. Here’s how to make Amazon Echo default to Spotify so you don’t get stuck with those annoying song and album previews.

Spotify is first music streamer to reach 100 million users

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Meet Spotify's new nav bar.
Spotify is the largest music streamer in the world.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Spotify now has more active users than any other music streaming service on the planet, but when it comes to paid subscribers, it looks like growth has stalled.

The Swedish music streaming service revealed today that it now has 100 million active users — up from the 75 million it had last year — however its paid subscribers total hasn’t budged since March.

SoundCloud takes on Apple Music with new subscription service

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SoundCloud Go is yet another music streaming service.
SoundCloud Go is yet another music streaming service.
Photo: SoundCloud

Apple Music’s competition in the music streaming battle just got a little fiercer today with the introduction of a new subscription service by SoundCloud.

The new SoundCloud Go service costs $10 per month, giving you unlimited access to the YouTube of Audio’s vast trove of indie content without ads. You can also save files to listen to offline, but that might not be enough to take on Apple Music and Spotify.

The greatest Xmas gift you can give: Apple evangelism

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The holidays are the perfect time to spread the Apple love.
The holidays are the perfect time to spread the Apple love.
Photo: Jack Mayfield

As an Apple fan, there’s a great gift you can bestow upon your friends and family this holiday season. The amazing part is, it’s free.

I’m not talking about the free tech support you’ll inevitably dole out to befuddled relatives (Cult of Mac’s how-to section can help with that, BTW). I’m talking about evangelizing for two of Apple’s least-loved products — and this gracious act will also goose the greater good.