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Spotify for volvo is awful

Spotify for volvo is awful

I recently bought a new volvo XC40. Really nice car, and I was stoked to find a native spotify client. I found that the sound quality of the native client was much better than blueooth or carplay so I really want to use it.


Unfortunately the app is horrible, and it is really disappointing that neither Spotify nor Volvo (both known for their excellent product quality) has done anything about it. Issues are:

  • After starting the car and starting Spotify it can take up to 5 minutes to start streaming (and sometimes it never does - you have to switch to radio and back to get it to work)
  • More than half the time, the track shown on the screen is not the track that I am listening to. 
  • Maybe 30% of my Library is shown, and nothing is in alphabetical order, making it unusable
  • There are constant interruptions and "Buffering...". I am on a 4G service in a metropolitan area, and get 50Mbps down on average

So there are 2 major issues here:

  1. The user interface of the app itself displays incorrect information and is close to unusable. Issue for the developer
  2. The way data is used by the app / car is broken (I suspect this is a volvo issue)


I am not sure if this app was developed by Spotify or Volvo. If it was developed by Volvo I can kinda understand that a car manufacturer would build a bad app, but if it was developed by Spotify then shame on you for allowing such a mess to tarnish your reputation! You are both from Sweden and should have developed something worthy of both your companies


Would love to know if anyone else has encountered these problems and if they have found a solution


24 Replies

I have a Volvo XC60 MY21, and I found almost the same issues:

- After starting the car it takes very long to start the playback

- Sometimes it never starts, and I need to switch to radio and back to Spotify

- When I have stabile 4G connection it stops the playback and "Buffering..."

- Sometimes when a song ends does not starts the next song, but "Buffering...", but when I press the next button on the steering wheel the next song starts immediately

- Navigating in the library is extremely slow

- It lacks the offline library feature


I hope that Spotify or Volvo will correct these issues, because these are very annoying problems in a high priced car.

I am glad I am not the only one who sees these problems. I have a friend with an XC90 and he has the exact same problems too, so this is not something to be solved by "talking to your dealer". It is a systemic problem that needs to be fixed by Volvo and Spotify

So glad I'm not going insane and it's not just me, used work just fine but it's becoming unusable.

The apps not been patched in ages and I've tried they're standard suggestion of uninstall/reinstall but it makes no difference.

Would be interesting to see if Spotify or Volvo finally take ownership of the app and fix it

Hey everyone,


Thanks for posting here in the Community.


In this case we'd suggest you head here and contact Volvo. The folks there can look into this further and give you more information about it.


If you have questions, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We'll be happy to help.



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Hi Ver


Are you saying that Volvo is responsible for the Spotify app? I got exactly the same issues and I am so disappointed that a brand which tries to be premium is delivering that bad quality product. 

Spotify app is unusable in this state and I would recommend to stop supporting volvocar system than delivering not working solution until they fix this problem.

I have a 2020 XC60 that I've now had for about 7 months and my understanding is that Volvo should be responsible for the in-vehicle app, not Spotify. I've contacted Volvo directly about this, but haven't gotten anywhere yet. I'm bringing my vehicle in for 20K mile service and will provide an update after that. Very frustrating issue.

Can the people having this problem please tell me if they are seeing the problem when tethered to a mobile via bluetooth or when using the built-in SIM card (not available in Australia)


I have a 2018 XC60 and can confirm that it doesn' matter if you are connected via tethered bluetooth connection or via the built-in SIM, tha Volvo Spotify app has an awful behavior making it almost unusable in many trips.


As per the test performed by another forum user and explained here, the problem seems to lay within the way Volvo system handles data connections, so no easy workaround it seems.


Also, as per the comments and links in that very same thread, it seems clear that the responsible of the app development and updates is Volvo, not Spotify.

I have a Volvo XC60 2020. I too am experiencing issues with the integrated Spotify app. 


  • It takes up to 5mins to load playlists and play music
  • Slow performance
  • The app gets confused/playback freezes (when If switching to the Android Spotify app or command it to play a song through google assistant) both cannot work together. VERY ANNOYING! 

I have tried tethering via both bluetooth and USB.


I love using Spotify but this is just ridiculous!   So unintuitive for a premium car and streaming service.


I have taken the car to Volvo and they have explained that it is a Spotify issue. No one wants to take responsibility.



I dropped an email to the UK Volvo Customer Care and for the below back:

"Thank you for your email and your feedback about the Spotify app.

The app will be developed by our central team in Sweden rather than us here at Volvo Cars UK, however I would be more than happy to contact your Volvo retailer to see if they can give us any more information?

If you can confirm your vehicle registration and the name of your retailer I'd be glad to look into this for you."

I've asked for contact details for the central team but don't hold out much hope, will post updates as and when I get them

I brought my 2020 Volvo XC60 in for an oil change and routine maintenance a few weeks ago. I told them how poorly the Spotify app found within the vehicle works, and they told me they had received that feedback in the past. They wanted to do a full infotainment update as there had been significant updates in the last 6-12 months. They did the update and I can say that I don't really notice much difference. Maybe it works a little better? Not positive yet.

I've pretty much stopped using the Spotify app found in the vehicle and started using the iPod function with the Spotify app on my iPhone. Seems to work my better. Much smoother, all the artwork, no issues. The Spotify app just isn't any good and will require a full overhaul before it's really even usable.

So I have just got my 2018 V90R back from Volvo as they took it in for a day to investigate the issue... even though we all knew the outcome.


They were fantastic and indeed concluded that there were no hardware issues, no apparent outstanding software updates and nothing they could do apart from report back to HQ. They're advice is not what we want to hear which is that we'll have to just wait for an app update from the central team.


So kind of stuck with no leads now, I will try and respond back to the UK customer service team to try and find the next avenue of investigation

In Brazil, they simply removed the app from all cars during a recent software update. Problem solved! Third world countrie's people won't ever complain anyway! Shame on Volvo and shame on Spotify too.

I just purchased the cx40 p8 fully electric and have a similar bad experience, mainly what  sounds like bad buffering implementation. As a result and normally for the first 5 minutes music is broken, same happens with the radio app but not as much.


I reached out to the local disti in Israel and after getting no response reached out to Volvo int.  who are trying again to connect me with the local disti, so still no resolution. 


I actually suspect the way Volvo Israel chose to implement the internet connectivity as the root cause, instead of leveraging the built in Sim/eSim solution they went with a traditional (old/legacy) wifi dongel that is not suitable for connected cars - those that have to be connected all the time for a user experience.


I shared my feedback but still didn't get a response. How is your car connected to the internet? I wonder if we can find some similarly to identify the root cause and help Volvo help themselves and us the consumers...


Thanks for the post - not comforting but in a way good to know its not just me.

The Spotify app in my 2022 xc60 (Android entertainment system, version 1.7) works pretty well with the built-in Sim Card, never encountered any connectivity issue or slow start, though it has some other annoyed problems, but I think they are most likely from the Android system, not the app.

Thank you !

1.7 is finally available in my country. Installing it this week and hope it
improves also the user experience with the app.

If not I will talk to Volvo Israel again about using the integrated sim
card which makes more sense to me regardless.

Well, so far my experience is even worse!!!


Brand new 2021 xc40. 


I don't want to buy another SIM card, my phone should be enough...


Spotify doesn't appear in the android auto apps. I imagine this is because it is built into the Volvo system.


However, I'd have to manually tether it every time I drive the car in order for Spotify to work.


I can play from the phone. But then the dash music controls don't work.


Or, I can just use Bluetooth, but not have any graphics or dash tune selection.




Whilst I was waiting 9 months for delivery of this 50,000€ car, I was loaned a 10,000€ Renault captur. It all worked perfectly....


Shame on you Volvo. And Spotify for that matter...



So recently, there was an update for the spotify app. With much excitement I installed the update and.... it didn't fix a thing 🙂

A positive way of looking at this fiasco is that today I took my car in for a service and got a shiny new XC60 as a loaner which has the new Android OS - what a mess. Possibly the worst car digital experience I have ever had, so be happy you don't have one of those! Didn't even support car play. Even the cheapest junk from a chinese car company supports car play - oh wait volvo is a chinese car company...

There is a really easy fix for this. If they actually buffered the music and kept it on the hard drive in the car then this long delay when starting the car wouldn't be as much of an issue.

If you had spotify playing before you turned off the car it would have "buffered" the current track as well as the upcoming track or two. This way even if it takes 5 minutes for the car to figure out it's internet connection in the background it could use up the buffer while waiting for the internet connection to come back. 

Clearly it doesn't do this because if my infotainment turns off for even 5 seconds then when it turns back on it has to wait for the connection to come back before it even loads the track I was just listening to. I can't even open the door on my S60 MY22 without it turning off. 

If you have the spotify app on your phone the phone keeps a buffer of what you were previously listening to. It's a very simple solution because all of our cars have tons of free space on the hard drive in them.

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