Google Play Music Can Control Sonos Too

Posted on December 19, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile, Music + Videos with 8 Comments

Google Play Music Can Control Sonos Too

As it turns out, Spotify isn’t the only music app that can control Sonos connected speaker systems. Google Play Music can as well, and it’s been able to do so for two years.

This is confusing to me. 🙂

I wrote back in August that Spotify and Amazon Echo would be the first partners allowed to control Sonos speakers, and then I wrote today about my experiences doing so with Spotify. But as Richard Gregg pointed out on Twitter, they’re not actually first.

So I looked it up. And sure enough, Google and Sonos did announce back in April 2014 that you could control Sonos from the Google Play Music app. And I just tested this on my iPhone: It works as expected.

The thing is, the original Sonos announcement has disappeared from the web. So I looked it up with the Way Back Machine and found it in an archive. And that post literally says that Google was first.

“In Google Play Music, we’ve found a great partner to bring this vision to life for the first time on a global scale,” the Sonos post notes. “Together, we’ve created a music experience that shows how media, devices, and sound can seamlessly work together in the home.”

There’s also a Google site describing this capability.

“Sonos is now on Google Play Music,” Google explains, describing what it calls Direct Play. “Turn any room into a Play room by streaming music directly from the Google Play Music app on Android to your Sonos Wireless HiFi System. Listen to what you want, where you want, the way you want.”

So. Hm.

The thing is, in August, Sonos wrote the following:

“Spotify will be the first music streaming service that allows Spotify Premium listeners to have full control of the music all over their homes outside the Sonos app.”

And I think if you re-read that, as I have, what it’s saying is that Spotify is itself now the first app to allow Spotify Premium users to stream to Sonos … from outside the Sonos app. Not that Spotify is the first ever to stream to Sonos without using Sonos Connector.

Interesting. But I can’t find the original August Sonos blog post to check for other clues; something tells me they aggressively remove old content, and the Way Back Machine can’t help for 2017. Ah well.

Anyway, it’s all good news: This works on both Spotify and Google Play Music. And I’m curious if it works now with other apps too.


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Comments (8)

8 responses to “Google Play Music Can Control Sonos Too”

  1. 5111

    Paul, are you sure you used your iPhone and not your Android?  If so, can you give any more info on how you got it to work. All I see on the share icon, above the play bottom within the google play music app, is iphone and Apple TV. So basically airplay. No cast icon is visible. I'd love to avoid the Sonos app. Thanks. 

  2. 9400

    If I had to guess, it's probably a subtle difference.  To get the Google Play / Sonos control to work you need both Google Play and the Sonos App on your Android device.  I believe the two are able to communicate allowing you to play Google Play Music to your Sonos from within the Google Play Music app itself.  I've never seen it to work on iOS.  If the Spotify to Sonos works without the Sonos app, then that could be the nuance that lets both statements be true.

  3. 6605

    Don't know how it works with Google Play, but with Spotify you are not streaming from your device to the Sonos speaker. The devices is only a sort of remote control that tells the Sonos speaker what to play. So there is no music streaming from the device to the speaker, the speaker plays the music itself.

  4. 6750

    Casting from GPM on Android to Sonos pre-dates Chromecast Audio. I've always assumed that Google used this as a sort of test of principle for Chromecast Audio (and probably without telling Sonos that Chromecast Audio was being planned).

    It's not full control since you can't do things like group speakers from within the GPM app, which I believe you can now do via Spotify.

    Like others, I've never been able to cast to Sonos from the iOS GPM app. If this is happening then that is new and noteworthy.

    As to other services, Pandora announced plans to integrate Sonos controls into their app so presumably that will happen soon. I want Pocket Casts and BBC iPlayer radio. Podcasts and Radio catch up is where Sonos is relatively weak

  5. 5144

    Hmm, I can't get Google Play Music on my Pixel XL to connect to my Sonos via cast. When I hit the cast button I see all my Sonos units, but it won't connect when I select a speaker unit. 

  6. tyroon45

    I like Google Play music. You can get all latest music for free on your Android and iOS devices for free using setbeat offline Apk.