Spotify DisConnects from some 2013-2014 products

We've long been publishing concerns about hi-fi which can only be operated from an app, lacking sufficient controls on the unit itself or its physical remote. What will happen, we've asked, if the company goes under, or stops supporting a particular app after some years? Your smart hi-fi will suddenly become alarmingly dull.

One moment of such disassociation came with iOS11 and its inability to run 32-bit apps. Now there's another - but it comes from an unexpected source: Spotify.

The streaming service has announced that "we’re removing the built-in Spotify app from some speakers and sound systems" - apparently due to fundamental changes in back-end delivery, with the company telling The Verge that "We updated our backend platform, so that means Spotify Connect is no longer integrated into some older generation speakers and TVs. In some cases, manufacturers can update their firmware to be compatible with the new platform."

Spotify Connect integration was a key selling point for many of these products, even more so than today, because back in 2013 and 2014, when most of the affected models were released, Spotify streaming was the hottest functionality to attract the younger music listeners that the audio industry was desperate to attract. So should all hi-fi streaming products now come with a "Warning - some functions may only last five years" sticker?

Some manufacturers have already provided or are aiming to provide firmware updates to get Spotify back working again on their products. The complete list of affected models can be viewed below, noting whether Spotify Connect is dead or due for resurrection.

You can, we should note, use Spotify another way - usually by Bluetooth streaming from a smart device. But of course the whole point about Spotify Connect is that it was better than that - a direct stream from the internet, not muffled via Bluetooth re-transmission.

B&O BeoSound 5: Spotify Connect dead.

Denon DRA-N5, RCD-N8, AVR-E300, AVR-X1000, AVR-E400, AVR-X3000, AVR-X2000, AVR-X4000, AVR-1913, AVR-2113, AVR-2313, AVR-3313, AVR-4520: Spotify Connect resurrection to be available via firmware updates

Dynaudio Connect: Spotify Connect dead

Logitech Squeezebox and UE Smart Radio: Spotify Connect dead

Marantz M-CR510, M-CR610, NA-11S1, NR1504, NR1604, SR5008, SR6008, SR7008, NR1603, SR5007, SR6007, SR7007, AV7701, AV8801: Spotify Connect resurrection to be available via firmware update.

NAD D 7050, MT 1 Media Tuner Module, MT 2 Media Tuner: Spotify Connect dead

Onkyo TX-NR509, TX-NR579, TX-NR609, TX-NR709, TX-NR809, TX-NR1009, TX-NR3009, TX-NR5009, HT-R690, HT-R990, HT-R648, HT-RC360, HT-RC370 AV receivers; PR-SC5509 AV Controller; AVX-690, HT-S9405THX, HT-S6405, HT-S9400THX, CR-N755, CS-N755 systems; TX-8050 receiver; T-4070 tuner: all dead for Spotify Connect.

Philips MCi900, MCi8080, NP3700, NP3500, NP3900, NP3300, AW1000, AW2000, AW3000, AW5000, AW9000: Spotify Connect dead.

Pioneer XW-SMA1, XW-SMA3, XW-SMA4, VSX-923, VSX-828, VSX-823, VSX-528, VSX-S510, VSX-70, VSX-43, VSX-1023, VSX-1028, VSX-1123, VSX-1128, VSX-8231, SC-1223, SC-1228, SC-1323, SC-1328, SC-1523, SC-1528, SC-2023, SC-71, SC-72, SC-75, SC-77, SC-79, SC-LX57, SC-LX77, SC-LX87, X-SMC55, VSX-1124, VSX-44, VSX-80, VSX-1129, VSX-924, VSX-824, VSX-529, SC-LX58, SC-2024, SC-1224, SC-LX88, SC-81, SC-LX78, SC-85, VSX-1024, VSX-1029, SC-82, SC-87, SC-89: all dead for Spotify Connect.

Teufel Air Blue: Spotify Connect dead.

Yamaha RX-V475, RX-V575, RX-V675, RX-V775, RX-A730, RX-A830, RX-A1030, RX-A2030, RX-A3030, RX-S600, CX-A5000, HTR-4066, HTR-5066, HTR-6066, HTR-7066, RX-V1075, RX-V2075, RX-V3075, RX-S600D, RX-V500D, TSR-6750, RX-V477, RX-V577, RX-V677, RX-V777, RX-A740, RX-A840, RX-A1040, RX-A2040, RX-A3040, HTR-4067, HTR-5067, HTR-6067, RX-V1077, RX-V2077, RX-V3077, TSR-5770, R-N500, CD-N301, R-N301, CRX-N560, CRX-N560D: Spotify Connect resurrection to be available via firmware update.

To clarify: by 'dead' we're referring to Spotify Connect operation. The rest of the product's operations are unaffected, and you may be able to stream Spotify via Bluetooth or AirPlay. 

Spotify's list may be updated: check here for the latest information. 

One bright note: Spotify seems to be gearing up to CD quality streaming, offering test access to some US users at a a variety of pricing seemingly to establish what consumers would be willing to pay. If that's the change that has prompted the back-end changes which kill off access on five-year-old products, we'd at least have a silver living. Otherwise it's one more piece of evidence regarding the reduced lifespan of today's "smart" products compared with more traditional hi-fi offerings.