Garmin announced a partnership today that will excite its users who rely on Spotify for music. Those with Garmin Fenix 5 Plus devices can now download the new Spotify app from Garmin’s Connect IQ app store. The app brings Spotify integration to the Fenix 5 Plus series, allowing users to download playlists for offline listening.
The Fenix 5 Plus series contains the newest Fenix devices, which are some of Garmin’s most expensive wearables, starting at $549 for a Fenix 5. Music storage is a standard feature on all Fenix 5 Plus models, but users were previously limited to downloading personal tracks or playlists from iHeartRadio or Deezer if they are paid subscribers.
Now, Spotify joins the music sources available on the Fenix 5 Plus series with its own mobile app. When connected to Wi-Fi, premium Spotify subscribers can download playlists to a Fenix 5 Plus watch so they can listen to music without their smartphone nearby. Unlike other smartwatches like the Apple Watch Series 4, Fenix 5 Plus devices don’t have built-in LTE. Users won’t be able to stream music from Spotify, but they can download tracks for offline listening using Bluetooth headphones connected to their smartwatch.
Spotify currently dominates the music industry; as of June, Spotify had 83 million Premium subscribers and more than 180 million active users. Apple Music, by contrast, reportedly had 40 million paid subscribers as of this April. But even Spotify Premium subscribers haven’t had much access to their music on their wrists. Only Samsung Gear wearables supported a Spotify app until now, and it was a feature that made those smartwatches stand out among the competition.
This is a big get for Garmin—the company makes all types of wearables, from simple bands to smartwatches, all of which work on Android and iOS devices. A Spotify app has the potential to attract many new users to Garmin’s platform, and in particular to its higher-end devices that support apps from the Connect IQ store.
Currently, the Spotify app will only work on Fenix 5 Plus devices, but I anticipate the app’s availability to trickle down to other Garmin wearables in the future. Music storage as a feature did the same thing: it debuted on the $449 Forerunner 645 Music earlier this year and made its way to the Fenix line and the $299 Vivoactive 3 Music fairly quickly. It’s possible that Garmin and Spotify want to test the waters first with this initial rollout on the Fenix 5 Plus series before bringing the app to other Garmin devices.
Fenix 5 Plus users can download the Spotify app from the Connect IQ store today.