Xbox One is letting you play music in the background of your games, but PS4 retains its exclusive contract with music giant Spotify.
Xbox One is releasing its summer Windows 10 Anniversary update, which will bring back a feature that existed on Xbox 360, but never migrated to Xbox One: the ability to stream music in the background of your games, blending the audio. Mike Ybarra spoke with The Inner Circle Podcast about the update, stating that Microsoft wanted to bring back the feature “in a way that surprises fans.” No word yet on what specifically this will mean.
It would seem fitting for Spotify, the largest music-streaming service (outside perhaps iTunes), to be available for this feature. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that will be happening any time soon. In an exchange with Cruel I Palmy Gaming, Spotify explains:
@PalmyGamingHD Hi! Right now we're focused on our exclusive partnership with PlayStation, we don't have any info regarding other consoles/BE
— SpotifyCares (@SpotifyCares) July 17, 2016
Surface level, this seems like Spotify is promoting its deal with Sony, one that was likely lucrative for both involved. The language, however, is worth examining; “we don’t have any info” doesn’t close the door. Some have further suggested that Spotify is calling attention to the fact that its hands are tied, perhaps because they intend to work with Microsoft in the future.
This continues the trend of Xbox One adding features that PS4 doesn’t have (such as its impressive backwards compatibility and upcoming holo lens), but the PS4 continuing to secure important exclusives (such as Street Fighter V, Bloodborne, Until Dawn, and upcoming No Man’s Sky). Whatever the case, Xbox One owners looking to capitalize on this feature will need to find other means– which might be as simple as attaching a device (laptop, phone) to their Xbox One and playing Spotify through that.
The Xbox One music update drops August 2nd.