Google Assistant Can Now Play Apple Music from Nest Smart Speakers
Google Assistant can now play Apple Music on Google Nest smart speakers and other devices that use the voice assistant. Listeners can either ask Google Assistant to play audio specifically from Apple Music or set the streaming service as the default for any songs or playlists they want to hear. The news fits with Google’s ongoing revamp of its media services and goes well with how the company hyped the audio hardware of the new Google Nest Audio at the smart speaker’s debut earlier this year.
Apple Music is available just like YouTube, Pandora, and Spotify are through Google Assistant. Any Apple Music subscriber can link their account in the Google Home app, then ask Google Assistant to play any of the music on the platform and any accessible playlist. Like the other streaming platforms, Apple Music can play on multiple speakers simultaneously, taking advantage of the improvements to Google’s smart home system when it comes to playing music.
Apple Music is only available in a few countries at the moment, but Google has indicated it will expand globally over time. Bringing Apple Music to the platform means Google Assistant now matches Amazon Alexa, which first started streaming Apple Music back in 2018. While Google and Amazon lack each other’s native audio platforms, both are still ahead of the Apple HomePod and new HomePod Mini, which is limited to Apple Music and Pandora as streaming options.
For Apple, the benefit is more to maintain and potentially even grow the Apple Music audience. The company’s streaming service is enormously popular thanks to the legions of iPhone users, but that might not be sustainable if customers struggle to listen to the service at home. Notably, there was a rumor in early 2019 that Apple Music had arrived on Google Home devices. That turned out to be untrue and it was only through Google Assitant on iOS devices that Apple Music was playable at least until nearly two years later.
The timing of the news is interesting, coming as Google has just finished transitioning its music from Google Play to YouTube Music’s streaming service, with additional features like playlist creation on Android and Google Assistant. It’s also just a few months after the Nest Audio smart speaker and its powerful sonic features rolled out to customers. The smart speaker performs more like a speaker that integrates Google Assistant than a Google Assistant device with a good speaker, the Nest Audio been extending its capabilities. The question is if adding Apple Music will materially change which voice assistant people use or reduce the number who switch in search of their favorite music streaming service.