As we suggested last time the ‘Spotify making hardware’ speculation bubbled up, it would be surprising if the company *wasn’t* mulling physical products, given its current reliance on devices from Apple, Google and Amazon as its route to market.
So, the latest evidence of Spotify’s ambitions – again, from a recruitment ad on its website – shouldn’t come as a shock.
“Spotify is on it’s way creating it’s first physical products and set-up an operational organisation for manufacturing, supply chain, sales & marketing,” explains a not-quite-fully-spell-checked ad for an Operations Manager – Hardware Product on Spotify’s recruitment site.
The role? “You will define and manage Distribution, Supply, Logistics, fulfillment and Customer Service for Hardware Products and work with partners to deliver the optimal Spotify experience to millions of users.”
Based in Stockholm, this isn’t a job about managing integrations with third-party devices: among the job’s duties is to “manage the supply chain, demand and forecast & inventory”.
Separate ads for a Senior Project Manager: Hardware Production and Project Manager: Hardware Production & Engineering are also indications that Spotify’s hardware plans are ramping up.
Many people will leap to ‘smart speaker’ as the assumption about what the first Spotify-branded hardware product will be. Which begs the question: if so, where will its voice assistant – its equivalent of Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri – come from?
Integrating Alexa or Google Assistant would be one option; licensing (or even buying?) technology like SoundHound’s Houndify might be another; or developing something entirely in-house another – although the latter might be time-consuming and expensive, given the need to catch up to the big-tech assistants quickly.