How do I play music on Google Assistant?

Google Assistant is an AI-powered virtual assistant developed by Google that understands natural language voice commands. It is built into Google’s smart home devices like Google Nest speakers, displays, Android phones, and compatible third party devices. Users can ask their Google Assistant to do things like play music, set timers, answer questions, provide weather updates, and more.

One of the main features of Google Assistant is music streaming. It can be linked to various streaming services like Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora, and Google Play Music to play songs, playlists, albums, artists, and radio stations on command. You don’t need to be a paid subscriber of a music service to link it with Google Assistant. However, a subscription may be required to access certain features ad-free.

With simple voice commands like “Hey Google, play some music” or “Hey Google, play jazz”, Google Assistant taps into its linked music providers and starts streaming music. Users can customize Google Assistant’s default music service and link multiple services at once for flexibility. Google Assistant is designed to provide hands free control over music playback using any linked music app.

Activate Google Assistant

To use Google Assistant to play music, you first need to make sure it is enabled and set up on your device. Google Assistant comes built-in on most Android phones and tablets, and can also be accessed on iPhones, iPads, and computers.

On Android devices, you can activate Google Assistant by tapping and holding the home button or saying “Hey Google.” You may need to enable permissions or turn on Google Assistant in your device’s settings. On Samsung devices, you can open the Google folder and launch the Assistant app. If Google Assistant is off, your device will prompt you to turn it on.

On iPhones and iPads, download the Google Assistant app from the App Store. You can then hold down the home button or say “Hey Google” to activate it.

On computers, install the Google Assistant browser extension or desktop application. You can then click on the microphone icon or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+Space on Windows/Chrome OS, Cmd+Space on Mac) to activate Google Assistant.

Once enabled, try saying “Hey Google” or “Ok Google” followed by a question or command to verify Google Assistant is working properly on your device.

Link Streaming Services

To play music from streaming services like Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora, etc. using Google Assistant, you first need to link the service to your Google account. Here’s how to link some popular music streaming services:

For Spotify, open the Google Home app and tap the account icon > Settings > Music > Link new service. Select Spotify and follow the prompts to sign in to your Spotify account and link it.

For YouTube Music, make sure you are signed into the YouTube Music app on your mobile device using the same Google account as your Google Home speaker. YouTube Music will then be automatically linked. You can check linked services in the Google Home app under Settings.

For Pandora, open the Google Home app, go to Settings > Music > Link new service and select Pandora. Sign in to link your Pandora account.

For other services like iHeartRadio, Tidal, Deezer, etc. follow the same steps to link new services in the Google Home app. Just select the service and sign in to link it.

Once your music streaming accounts are successfully linked, you can ask Google Assistant to play music from them by saying “Hey Google, play [song name/artist/album] on [service].”

Play Music

To start playing music, simply say “Hey Google” or “OK Google” followed by a command to play a certain song, artist, album, or playlist. Here are some examples of voice commands you can use:

To play music in general:

  • “Hey Google, play some music” – This will start playing music based on your preferences
  • “OK Google, play songs” – This will shuffle and play songs from your linked music library

To play a specific song:

  • “Hey Google, play Dance Monkey by Tones and I”
  • “OK Google, play Bohemian Rhapsody”

To play music by a specific artist:

  • “Hey Google, play songs by The Beatles”
  • “OK Google, play Adele’s music”

To play a specific album:

  • “Hey Google, play Taylor Swift’s 1989 album”
  • “OK Google, play Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles”

You can also create playlists in your linked music services and ask Google Assistant to play them by name. For example:

  • “Hey Google, play my Jazz playlist”
  • “OK Google, play the Running playlist”

Google Assistant understands a wide variety of music requests and will do its best to play what you ask for from your linked services. Don’t be afraid to try different wording and phrases to play the music you want.

Play Specific Songs, Artists, or Albums

To play a specific song, artist, album, or other content on Google Assistant, simply say “Hey Google” or “Ok Google” followed by what you want to listen to. Here are some examples of commands you can use:

To play a specific song:

“Hey Google, play Believer by Imagine Dragons.”

“Ok Google, play the song Moves Like Jagger.”

To play music by a specific artist:

“Hey Google, play songs by The Beatles.”

“Ok Google, play Ed Sheeran.”

To play a specific album:

“Hey Google, play the album Thriller by Michael Jackson.”

“Ok Google, play Lemonade by Beyonce.”

You can also get more specific by including the service you want to use:

“Hey Google, play pop music on Spotify.”

“Ok Google, play classic rock on Pandora.”

Google Assistant will do its best to find and play the exact song, artist, or album you request. Get creative with your commands to queue up exactly what you want to hear!

Create Playlists

You can create custom playlists with Google Assistant that allow you to listen to songs from your linked music services in any order you want. Here’s how to create a playlist using just your voice:

1. Say “Ok Google” or “Hey Google” to activate your Google Assistant.

2. Say something like “Create a playlist called [name]” or “Make a new playlist called [name]”. Replace [name] with what you want to call your playlist.

3. Google will respond confirming the playlist name. You can then start adding songs by saying “Add [song name] to my ” or “Add [song name] to it”. Keep doing this until you’ve added all the songs you want.

4. Once you’re done, say something like “Play ” to start listening to the new playlist!

You can continue to add or remove songs later by referencing the playlist name. Say something like “Remove [song name] from my “.

This makes it quick and easy to create custom playlists using just your voice. No need to dig through apps or menus. Just tell Google Assistant which songs you want, in which order, and it’ll create a playlist for you to enjoy seamlessly.

Listen to Radio

You can listen to radio stations, news channels, and podcasts through Google Assistant on your phone, speakers and displays. Just say “Hey Google, play [radio station name]” to start listening. For example, “Hey Google, play NPR” will start playing the NPR radio station.

To listen on Google Nest or Home speakers and displays, you can play terrestrial or internet radio stations by voice. According to Google Support, you can say things like “Hey Google, play KROQ” or ask for a specific genre like “Hey Google, play classical music.”1

For podcasts, say “Hey Google, play [podcast name]” and it will find it from your linked podcast providers or apps. Or ask to play the latest episode of a specific podcast.

You can also ask Google Assistant to tune to a specific radio frequency, like “Hey Google, tune to 88.5 FM.” This allows you to access local radio stations.

Control Playback

Google Assistant allows you to control music playback using just your voice. Here are some of the voice commands you can use:

To pause the current song, say “Hey Google, pause.” To resume playback, say “Hey Google, resume.”

To skip to the next song, say “Hey Google, next song.” You can also skip to the previous song by saying “Hey Google, previous song.”

To turn the volume up or down, say “Hey Google, turn it up” or “Hey Google, turn it down.” You can also set the volume to a specific percentage by saying “Hey Google, change volume to 50%.”

If you want to replay the current song or go back to the beginning, say “Hey Google, replay this song.”

You can ask Assistant to play songs from a specific artist, album or playlist just by speaking the name. Say “Hey Google, play artist Beethoven,” or “Hey Google, play my Dance Party playlist.”

So in summary, Google Assistant provides hands-free control over music playback through a variety of voice commands for pausing, skipping, adjusting volume, replaying, and more.

Default Services

The default music service on Google Assistant varies depending on your location. In the United States, YouTube Music is the default. In Canada and Europe, Google Play Music is the default. In India and Japan, Gaana and Spotify are the defaults respectively. This is because Google has partnerships with different music providers in different regions.

You can check which service is your default by asking “Hey Google, what’s my default music service?” or by going into the Google Assistant settings on your phone and looking at the Music section.

If you want to change your default music service, you can do so in the settings. Your options may be limited depending on your location. For example, if you’re in the US, you can choose between YouTube Music and Spotify. In unsupported countries, you may need to sideload an app like Spotify to set it as your default.

Regardless of your default, you can still access multiple music services on Google Assistant by specifying the service. Say “Hey Google, play [song] on [service]” to play from a non-default provider.


If you are having issues getting Google Assistant to play music, here are some troubleshooting tips:

Make sure you have an internet connection – Google Assistant requires an internet connection to stream music. Check that your device is connected to WiFi or mobile data.

Check app permissions – Open the Google Assistant app settings and make sure you have granted permission for it to access your microphone and music apps like Spotify or YouTube Music. Granting microphone access allows Google Assistant to hear your voice commands.

Unlink and relink music services – Sometimes connections get corrupted. Try unlinking your music streaming services from Google Assistant, restarting your device, and then relinking the services.

Check your Google account – You need to have the music streaming services linked to the same Google account that your Google Assistant is configured with. Make sure you are signed in with the proper account.

Update apps and software – Having the latest versions of apps and device software can help resolve bugs. Update the Google Assistant app, your music streaming apps, and your Android or iOS software to see if it fixes connection problems.

Disable battery optimizations – Some device manufacturers include battery optimization that can stop apps like Google Assistant from working properly in the background. Go into your battery settings and whitelist Google Assistant to disable optimizations.

Factory reset device – If you have tried other troubleshooting tips with no success, doing a factory reset of your smartphone or Google Assistant speaker can clear out any corrupted data and reconnect issues.

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