How to play songs on your friends' Echo speakers with Amazon Alexa Music Sharing

Amazon Alexa music sharing
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Amazon has updated its Alexa voice assistant with a new music sharing feature that lets users send songs to each others' Echo devices. So if you’re enjoying a track and want to share it with a friend, you can ask Alexa to send a prompt to the recipient so they can play it on their own Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Show.

While you can’t unilaterally take over an acquaintance’s smart speaker, as entertaining as that would be, this could be a fun little feature to enjoy with family, friends and partners — especially with Valentine’s Day coming up. There is a little setup work involved, though, so here’s a quick guide on how to use Alexa’s new music sharing.

How to use Alexa Music Sharing

First, everyone involved will need an Alexa device — check out the best Echo speakers for our top picks — and to have enabled Alexa Communication in the Alexa app. 

You’ll also need the intended recipient listed in your device’s contacts, and they will need an Alexa-enabled or Echo speaker device, of course.

Echo Dot 4th gen

(Image credit: Amazon)

From there it’s simply a matter of playing a song and giving the order “Alexa, share this song with (name of the recipient)” to send it. 

At the recipient’s end, they’ll receive a notification from the Alexa app that you’ve shared the song with them, and they'll be asked if they want to start playback on their own speaker.

Keep in mind that your friend will need access to a streaming service that includes the song, such as Amazon Music or Apple Music, in order to play it. If the recipient can’t play the song, Alexa will instead suggest a radio station based on the artist and track title.

Enable Alexa Communications for Music Sharing

Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen)

(Image credit: Future)

As mentioned earlier, you'll need to enable Alexa Communications on your Amazon account to make use of Music Sharing. 

This is a simple case of opening the Alexa app and navigating to the "Communications" tab. From there you can grant Alexa permission for calling and messaging, thereby allowing you to share music with others. 

By default, this imports your phone's contacts into Alexa Communications. Those of you concerned about Amazon’s data sharing practices can skip this. 

Doing so will purge any imported contacts from the list, meaning you have to manually add potential recipients to Alexa's own contacts list, which will be separate from your phone's contacts. 

To check who among your Alexa contacts you can potentially share your songs with, open the Alexa app and find the Communicate tab. Select "New Message" and you can search through fellow Echo owners and Alexa users.

An Alexa Blog post noted that “this is just the beginning” for the music sharing feature, and that “we will continue to evolve this experience over time.” So we can expect more music-centric features from Alexa and Echo speakers in the not so distant future. 

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.