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Deezer beats Spotify to Apple Watch offline listening

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Available for paid subscribers

Image: Deezer

Music streaming service Deezer has revamped its Apple Watch app to let you listen to music without an internet connection, the company has announced. Previously Deezer’s Apple Watch app has only been able to control music playback on a paired iPhone, but now paid subscribers can download songs for offline listening when they’re away from their phones.

Offline listening has previously been available with Apple Music as well as Pandora, but similar functionality is yet to appear in Spotify’s Apple Watch app. Spotify recently added the ability to stream music from Apple Watch without needing a paired iPhone, but the feature still requires a cellular or Wi-Fi connection. Meanwhile, Google just teased that Spotify users will soon be able to download tracks to Wear OS smartwatches, which makes it even more strange that it doesn’t offer a similar feature on Apple’s wearables.

Subscribers can download both Deezer playlists as well as their own personalized playlists for offline listening. Naturally, you’ll need enough storage on your Apple Watch to hold the files for offline listening, and Deezer says the feature is available with the Apple Watch Series 3 and above, running at least watchOS 6.

The new Apple Watch feature follows Deezer’s upgraded integration with Apple’s HomePod smart speakers released earlier this month. The new functionality lets users control playback with Siri voice controls, and even make Deezer their default music service. Spotify is yet to offer the same option. Then again, with a fraction of Spotify’s market share, Deezer has to work a lot harder to try and catch up.

Correction May 19th, 3:25PM ET: Deezer initially told The Verge that offline listening only works on the Apple Watch Series 6. This is incorrect. Deezer now says the feature works on Apple Watches dating back to the Series 3.