Spotify finally makes a tentative move into hardware with car smart assistant
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Spotify finally makes a tentative move into hardware with car smart assistant

It’s finally happening – streaming music market leader Spotify is testing its own hardware. The product in question is a voice-controlled smart assistant for cars. The company is hoping to learn more about what kind of audio people consume when they’re on the roads, and to find out, it’s providing a number of its premium users with free devices. Those devices, called Car Things, link directly to Spotify’s digital platform.

Spotify’s share price has appreciated by 17% so far this year

Spotify 31 May

Source: Yahoo Finance

The Car Thing plugs into a vehicles 12-volt outlet (or, as it was once known, the cigarette lighter). It then connects to both car and smartphone, accessing the user’s Spotify account and responding to the phrase “Hey, Spotify”.

Physically, it has a circular screen and a number of buttons that can be used to view and access playlist presets. The test is running for an indeterminate time in the US – but it doesn’t signify a shift towards hardware. In a blog post, the company said: “Our focus remains on becoming the world’s number one audio platform—not on creating hardware.”

Spotify added that there may be more “Things” on their way, saying that it might do similar tests in the future outside of the automobile. However, it doesn’t plan on bringing these devices themselves to market – it’s just after the insights it can glean from them: “We don’t have any current plans to make this specific device available to consumers, but the learnings from our test will dictate how we develop experiences everywhere you listen.”

Disclosure

Dominion holds Spotify in its Global Trends Luxury Fund. Share price as-at 21 May 2019.


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