Spotify Reportedly Working on an In-Car Device to Play Music

BY Evan Selleck

Published 18 Jan 2019

Auto manufacturers take kindly to Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto at this point, both of which Spotify supports as well, but it looks like the streaming service wants to fork out on its own.

According to a report on Friday from The Financial Times, Spotify is planning on launching a dedicated piece of hardware for the car. This in-car device would support voice controls so owners could quickly ask the device to play a specific playlist, artist, and more. The report states that Spotify is planning on pricing the upcoming device around $100.

The in-car hardware would connect via Bluetooth to the car’s speakers, and would include buttons that would support launching pre-set playlists as well. There is no information on whether or not the device will support a cellular connection for when you’re out and driving around, nor how much built-in storage the device will offer. This sounds like more than just an accessory to your smartphone, basically, but the details are light at this point.

This is an interesting idea to run with. Having a dedicated device that doesn’t have to leave the car, and doesn’t task the user to launch an app on their phone, may be the right way to go for Spotify. Of course, with CarPlay (and Android Auto), this may not be a big deal for a lot of drivers out there, or even those who have grown accustomed to just putting their phone in a holster of some kind and using their voice (or car’s own controls) to handle media playback.

But there is obviously a market for this type of device. Just look back at a recent report where Amazon confirmed Echo Auto, a similar device to what this Spotify-branded gadget is, had been ordered by more than a million people. And that was an invite-only situation, so those sales could skyrocket once it becomes widely available. Can Spotify eat away at some of this market that Amazon is already apparently on the brink of dominating?

This is interesting timing, too, considering we just ran a story that detailed Spotify’s plans to launch a new “Car View” mode within the app, which changes the UI to be more driver-friendly with bigger media playback controls and no album art. Spotify is obviously clamoring to make sure

Would you buy this device? Would you like to see Apple maybe, some day, launch something similar?

[via FT]