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How to set a preferred music service with Siri on iPhone and iPad

iPhone 12 showing Apple Music with a sculpture in the background
iPhone 12 showing Apple Music with a sculpture in the background (Image credit: iMore)

Spotify

Spotify (Image credit: iMore)

When Apple released iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5, it included the ability to let you set a preferred music service with Siri. There was originally a misunderstanding on if this was a way to set a default app like you can with a web browser, but Apple clarified that is not the case.

There is no actual way to choose a specific music service for every occasion. Instead, this feature just uses Siri intelligence to learn your listening habits and give you better recommendations over time.

With this feature, Siri on your best iPhone will occasionally ask you what service you want to use. This allows Siri to learn your preferences for all audio content, rather than just music. For example, you'll be able to tell Siri to open podcasts specifically in the Podcasts app or a third-party app of your choice, like Overcast.

How to set a preferred music service with Siri on iPhone and iPad

Now, the feature has been included in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. But remember, you need to be running at least iOS 14.5 or iPadOS 14.5 in order to set a preferred music service with Siri, so that's something to keep in mind if you're using an older device.

  1. Access Siri by saying, "Hey, Siri" or hold down the side/power button.
  2. Ask Siri to play some music, like "Hey Siri, play The Beatles."
  3. Siri will bring up a list of all of the music apps that you have installed and ask you, "Which app do you want to listen to this on?"
  4. Select your preferred app from the list.
  5. If prompted to do so, confirm that Siri can access data from your chosen music app.
  6. Siri will now play the music in your chosen app of choice.

How to set a preferred music streaming service with Siri on iPhone by showing: Activate Hey Siri and ask to play some music, then select the app you prefer to use from the list

How to set a preferred music streaming service with Siri on iPhone by showing: Activate Hey Siri and ask to play some music, then select the app you prefer to use from the list (Image credit: iMore)

Want to set default apps?

So while this isn't the same as setting a default app for all music or podcasts, it's still a step in the right direction. Now when you ask Siri to play your music, she will learn which streaming service you prefer and stick with that for that specific audio type.

Of course, you can set default apps for your browser and mail app which can be super handy if you, like many people, don't Apple's own Mail app or Safari. Maybe one day we can change the default music player too.

Updated April 2022: Updated for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.

Christine Chan
Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently the iMore lead on all things iPhone, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.

1 Comment
  • This didn’t work. I asked Siri to play The Beatles and it opened directly in the Apple Music app. I actually prefer Spotify. Any thoughts?