How To Control Music In a Tesla With Spotify: Alternatives

Tesla’s phenomenal infotainment system is one of the most advanced on the market. They were one of the first car manufacturers to integrate Spotify into their cars. But what’s the best way to control music in your Tesla with Spotify? 

The best way to control music in your Tesla is through the built-in Spotify app. Since Spotify is now integrated, it supports all features you expect, like voice commands and playing specific songs. TuneIn is a great alternative to Spotify. YouTube Music and Apple Music only work via Bluetooth. 

This article will explain how to use Spotify in your Tesla and fix a few potential problems you may encounter. I’ll also touch on the current issues with Apple Music and compare a few different methods of streaming music in your Tesla. 

How to use Spotify in a Tesla with and without Premium

Tesla added native support for Spotify all the way back in 2019. 

The feature should work from the get-go if your Tesla firmware is updated. 

To play Spotify in your Tesla, you’ll need a premium subscription. You may be able to get the first two months for free if it’s your first time using Spotify. 

After that, you’ll have to pay $9.99/ month. You can also get Duo for $12.99/month, Family (6 accounts) for $15.99/month, and Student for only $4.99/month. 

If you have a Spotify premium account, using it in your Tesla is pretty easy. Here’s what you need to do: 

  • Turn on your Tesla touchscreen. 
  1. Press the Music icon. 
  2. Tap on Spotify. 
  • Log in to your Spotify account through the touchscreen. 
  • You can now use Spotify in your Tesla. 

Pro Tip:

There is a new music feature where you can double tap the music icon and it will move all the way up from a single bar. This is a new interface and is better than it was before. Single tap will move one level at a time and double tap will move two levels at a time.

You can do most things through the Tesla Spotify app that you’d do through the phone. But you can’t create new playlists. 

Note that you’ll need Premium Connectivity in your Tesla to use music streaming services as well. Just like Spotify, it costs $9.99/month. You can get it through the Tesla app or Tesla Account. 

So, if you add up the costs of Spotify Premium and Tesla Premium Connectivity, that’s $19.98/month, plus applicable taxes. 

That’s a hefty price tag just to stream music in your car. And if you prefer Apple Music or something else in the first place, it’s probably not worth it. 

So, what’s the alternative? 

Using Spotify in Your Tesla Without Premium

When you look up “How to use Spotify in Tesla without Premium,” you’ll come across a few Spotify music converter programs. 

However, at best, these programs hardly work, and while they’re marketed as free, they often charge you to download the music. 

Plus, it’s illegal if you download copyrighted music in any way, shape, or form. 

So, the only option that remains is to stream music via Bluetooth from your phone’s Spotify app to your Tesla. 

You can use Spotify on your phone as you usually would. Your Tesla merely behaves as a car-shaped Bluetooth speaker. 

You can use any other music service too on the Tesla via your phone’s Bluetooth. More on that later. 

There are a couple of caveats to this method, though. 

For starters, if you don’t have an unlimited data plan, Spotify will make you hit your data cap in just a few hours. This means that playing music with Premium Connectivity and Spotify Premium might actually be cheaper in the long run. 

Furthermore, the audio bitrate will be significantly lower. That means you get worse sound quality. It’s limited to 128 kbit/s, which is half of what Spotify Premium offers.

Is There Spotify in Tesla?

There is a built-in Spotify app in all Teslas. The Spotify app allows you to stream your music library directly through the vehicle without using your phone. However, you must have Spotify Premium for Spotify to work in your Tesla. Additionally, you can’t edit playlists through the built-in app.

Spotify was added to Teslas in 2019 with the 10.0 update. Since then, playing music from Spotify in Teslas has largely been a fuss-free experience. 

You can log in to your Spotify account through Tesla’s touchscreen, and it will load up like on any other device. 

You can then use voice commands, the steering wheel buttons, or the touchscreen to change tracks and play different playlists or songs. 

How Do I Listen to Music on Tesla?

You can listen to music on your Tesla by tapping on the Music icon on the bottom of the screen. You can then pick several options, such as Phone audio, Spotify, TuneIn, Caraoke, and more. 

There’s no “best” option to listen to music on your Tesla. Spotify may be the most convenient, but it requires a Spotify Premium account with an active subscription. 

An alternative is to listen to podcasts and live radio from TuneIn for free. But this means that you’re left at the mercy of the radio’s DJ. 

Another popular method is to stream music via Bluetooth from your phone to the car. Once it’s connected, play music on your phone. It’ll stream to the car. 

You can also download.mp3 files to a USB drive and plug it into your Tesla’s USB port. When you do, the USB icon in the Music tab will pop up on the touchscreen. 

Potential Tesla Spotify Problems and Issues

One of the most common issues with Spotify is that Spotify won’t load and play music. This typically happens when you just get into the car. 

If this happens to you, switch to another music option like Slacker and then go back to Spotify. It’s an incredibly annoying bug, but at least the fix is easy. 

Another common problem is that Spotify gets stuck on the “Signing in …” screen after typing in your credentials. 

This usually happens because of a connectivity issue with your Tesla. Try connecting to a Wi-Fi hotspot, such as the one on your phone, and sign in then. 

Updating Tesla’s software may also do the trick. You can read how to update the software on Tesla’s official website. 

If Spotify appears to be playing, but you don’t hear anything, try to increase the volume. If that doesn’t do it, reboot the Tesla infotainment system

Do this by holding the brake pedal, the scroll wheels, and the buttons on the steering wheel until the screen turns off and back on. 

Tesla Spotify Tips and Tricks

A notable feature missing on Spotify in the Tesla is the Like button (The heart-shaped button next to each song). 

Liking a song allows Spotify’s algorithm to create custom playlists like Discover Weekly that are more tailored to your taste. 

Tesla Canuck explains a workaround in this YouTube video: 

Since you can’t create and customize playlists through your Tesla, do it on your phone instead. This is crucial if you have a long trip ahead of you. 

I suggest that you create a couple of playlists and always keep them fresh. You’ll always have something to listen to in your Tesla. 

Also, you should use voice commands to control your music instead of browsing through the touchscreen. It’s much safer and easier when driving. 

You can tell Tesla to open Spotify, play a certain song, or search for an album, and more. 

Does Spotify Free Work in Tesla?

Spotify Free doesn’t work in Tesla. The only way to play music through the built-in Spotify app is by having a Spotify Premium subscription. An alternative would be to stream Spotify from your phone to the Tesla via Bluetooth. 

Do You Need Spotify Premium for Tesla?

You need Spotify Premium for Tesla for the built-in app to work. The app doesn’t support free accounts for now. You could also connect your phone to the Tesla through Bluetooth and then play Spotify from your phone. The audio will be shared with the car. 

How Do I Log Into the Tesla Spotify App?

You can log into the Tesla Spotify app by pressing the Music button on the bottom of the Tesla’s touchscreen. You can then type in your account name or email and password to log in. To log out, open a playlist and scroll down to the bottom. You can then select the Sign out button. 

How To Add Spotify Playlist to Default Tesla Account

Tesla doesn’t allow you to create new Spotify playlists on the touchscreen. Instead, you’ll have to use your PC, smartphone, or tablet. 

A workaround is that you can play any public playlist on Spotify. It doesn’t matter what account you’re using on the Tesla – it’ll work regardless. 

So, here’s what you do

  1. Download and install Spotify on your phone, PC, or tablet. 
  2. Create or log in to your Spotify account. 
  3. Ensure that you have switched on Make my new playlists public under your account settings. 
  4. Open your Spotify library and press Create playlist
  5. Add any music you want to the playlist. 
  6. Open the Spotify app in your Tesla. 
  7. Go to Any Music > Playlist > Type in your playlist name
  8. Select your playlist and select Follow

The Problems With Apple Music in Teslas

The main issue with Apple Music in Teslas is that there’s still no official built-in app. 

It comes as a great loss to all Tesla owners that use iPhones. The two companies have a lot in common, so much so that Tesla is often dubbed the “iPhone on wheels.” 

But the two companies haven’t yet worked together to bring Apple Music or CarPlay to Teslas. This means that the only way to stream Apple Music to Tesla is through your phone. 

A great compromise is to use Siri to control Apple Music instead. Frugal Tesla Guy explains how to do it in the following YouTube video: 

How To Play Music via Bluetooth in a Tesla

Streaming music from your phone to your Tesla via Bluetooth is a popular and easy way to get the music going. 

You can use Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and pretty much any other service you wish. 

However, Bluetooth in the Tesla is somewhat fussy. Plus, the audio bitrate and resulting sound quality are also not as good. 

If you have a newer smartphone and a newer Tesla, you’re in luck. Newer Bluetooth versions are somewhat better at playing music. 

With all that out of the way, here’s how to play music via Bluetooth in your Tesla: 

  1. Turn on the Tesla touchscreen. 
  2. Tap on the Bluetooth icon in the top right corner. 
  3. Turn on Bluetooth on your smartphone and make it Discoverable. You can’t connect to your phone if it’s invisible. If you don’t see your phone on the list, make it discoverable. 
  4. Press Add New Device
  5. Select your smartphone. 
  6. Ensure your phone’s Bluetooth is connected to the Tesla. 
  7. Open and play any music app on your phone. 
  8. Control the music and volume through the car’s steering wheel and voice commands. 

Different Music Streaming Services on Tesla Compared

For now, Tesla’s only built-in music service is Spotify. However, TIDAL is coming very soon to Tesla as well. 

TIDAL is a very good alternative to those who dislike Spotify. The audio bitrate is the same as that of Spotify Premium. So, you can pick between the two without compromises. 

TuneIn is also built into the Tesla infotainment system. It’s a radio and podcast streaming service. It coexists with Spotify in your Tesla, but it’s really no replacement for it. 

The only alternative to Spotify (or TIDAL) is to stream music via the built-in web browser or Bluetooth from your phone. 

Since the web browser audio only works in park mode, Bluetooth is the only real alternative. So, what should you use? 

Here’s a brief rundown of a few popular streaming services on your phone: 

AppBuilt-in InterfacePrice (per month)Access Library / PlaylistsBitrate
Spotify (Premium)Yes$9.99Yes320 kbps
TuneInYesFree/$9.99Yes320 kbps
Apple MusicNo$9.99No256 kbps

It’s a shame that CarPlay isn’t available on the Tesla. It would allow you to control Apple Music just like you control Spotify through the built-in app. 

Now, your only option is to connect via Bluetooth. You can only skip songs, play or pause the music, and adjust the volume. That’s it. 

Speaking of CarPlay, it’s worth mentioning that Android Auto works through the browser in Teslas now. It’s great to use Google Maps, but note that the app is in beta.

If you found this article helpful, feel free to give us a thumbs up by sharing it on your social media platform of choice. You can also check out these 15 great gift ideas for yourself or a Tesla fanboy.

Contact Us if you have any questions or queries.

How To Control Music In a Tesla With Spotify: Alternatives 1
Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

A renowned Tesla enthusiast, and successful entrepreneur, enlightens global audiences through his compelling EV narratives. Discover more about his electric journey on his About Me page. Venture to read Erwin's incredible story that's reshaping the future of motoring. Want to spark a conversation with Erwin? Visit his Contact page, and let’s electrify the world together.