Apple Music is apparently coming to Google Home speakers, yet another sign that Apple’s famous walled garden is beginning to show cracks and that Apple is putting its services in front of as many people as possible as hardware device sales slow.
This week, an option to link an Apple Music account appeared in the Google Home app, which is used to manage Google’s smart home devices like speakers and Nest cameras. But the sign-in process for Apple Music doesn’t work in the app yet. It seems likely that Google updated the Home app with the Apple Music option before it was ready.
The move might help convince people to switch to Apple Music from other services, at least among those who own a Google Home as opposed to Apple’s more expensive HomePod speaker. The HomePod costs $349 — though retail partners often sell it for around $299 — but the Google Home Mini is much more approachable with a $50 price tag.
Google Home already supports a variety of streaming music services, including YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora and Deezer. Until now, Apple appeared to be the big holdout from Google’s smart speakers, which allow people to ask Google Assistant to play music throughout their home.
Google’s larger market share in smart speakers gives Apple an opportunity to boost subscriptions to Apple Music. Apple already offers an Android version of Apple Music, which has opened its music service up to the more than 2 billion monthly active devices that run Google’s operating system. Now those users, who are the most likely to own a Google Home, can play their songs in more places.
This is a new trend for Apple, as it begins to put more of a focus on services over device sales. At CES in early January, for example, Apple announced that iTunes was coming to Samsung TVs, which would let you purchase and stream movies and TV shows from Apple. Apple Music also recently launched on Amazon Echo devices.
Apple and Google weren’t immediately available for comment.