Music streaming company Spotify has made its foray into hardware. Spotify is about to start testing its own in-car music and podcast player called 'Car Thing.' It's a voice-controlled device that Spotify will use in order to learn more about people's listening habits and preferences. This way, Spotify can create an "unparalleled" experience for users, claims the company.
There are so many reasons why it makes sense for Spotify to get into hardware. Spotify is all about music and podcast streaming and it argues that Americans spend 70 billion hours behind the wheel every year. So quite obviously, there's a lot of potentials for Spotify to increase its reach. But Spotify says the test will be done in the US only.
Spotify is primarily into the software. So quite obviously, it doesn't have too many options to expand its footprint into new areas. Just to give you an example, this strategy could be similar to Chromebit portable dongle that lets users carry Google's Chrome OS operating system on-the-go.
Just a week after Spotify launched its operation in India in February, Spotify racked up over a million users in the country. Spotify is pretty new in the Indian market and it still has a long way to go in India's overcrowded music streaming segment, especially when there's a tough competition with some of the existing players who dominate India's music streaming space like JioSaavn, Gaana, etc.
In India, most people still prefer FM radio while driving and how much are they willing to bear the additional cost of a new in-car entertainment device needs to be gauged beforehand. Eventually, we can expect Spotify to conduct similar tests in India as well.
"While we know there has been some speculation about our future plans, Car Thing was developed to help us learn more about how people listen to music and podcasts. Our focus remains on becoming the world’s number one audio platform—not on creating hardware," Spotify said in its official blog post.
More technical details and specifications of this new Spotify device currently remains hidden. In fact, we don't even know at the moment whether Spotify has concrete plans to make 'Car Thing' commercially available in the near future. However, Spotify has made one thing clear. Right now, Spotify isn't planning to make this specific device available to consumers.
"The learnings from our test will dictate how we develop experiences everywhere you listen," Spotify added.