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(Pocket-lint) - Spotify is rolling out a hands-free prompt - 'Hey Spotify' - that allows users to search the streaming platform by voice.

At this stage, the new feature only appears to be heading to Android smartphones, with Spotify sending notifications to devices encouraging them to set up the wake word for voice commands. 

First spotted by GSMArena, Spotify users can either follow this notification or manually turn on 'Hey Spotify' through the app's settings. Then, once turned on, voice search via the prompt will be available, though only when the app is open and the device's screen is on.

Of course, this means that those who enable the feature will have Spotify listening in the background for the phrase.

Spotify also outlines that those who agree to use the feature are allowing it to keep recording and transcriptions of searches, though it will only start recording after it hears the wake word.

This is already the case for Spotify Premium users who use the manual voice search functionality, with the new hands-free wake word simply adding another element to the existing practice.

Aside from the potential privacy concerns for users enabling Spotify's voice search, it's also fair to question just how useful this addition really is, given that other voice assistants can already link up with the app (and do so when it isn't open).

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For those driving with Spotify Car View open, it offers an alternative way to search for a song, artist, playlist or album, but we imagine the company has loftier ambitions for 'Hey Spotify' and the user data it'll help compile.

In the meantime, we'll be waiting for the Spotify notification to roll out to our devices, and will detail the steps of setting up 'Hey Spotify' when we know more.

Writing by Conor Allison. Originally published on 7 April 2021.