Spotify Car Thing

Spotify unveiled its ‘Car Thing’ in-car speaker in May 2019, giving it a limited release in the US in April 2021 before opening it up to more buyers that October. Now Car Thing is launching properly as a consumer product, with Spotify selling it to premium subscribers for $89.99. It’s not a standalone smart speaker, but rather a device controlled from the listener’s smartphone.

Spotify says that its early users were “listening to Spotify in the car more than they had before” – not that surprising – and is planning to add some of the features that they have requested including a night mode, and a voice command for adding tracks and podcasts to the play queue.

It’s Spotify’s first foray into own-brand hardware, but perhaps not its last. Back in 2019 when it first talked about Car Thing, the company advised “We might do similar voice-specific tests in the future, so don’t be surprised if you hear about ‘Voice Thing’ and ‘Home Thing’”. The former evolved into the ‘Hey Spotify’ voice controls that launched in April 2021, but perhaps Car Thing’s success will make tests of some kind of Home Thing more likely in the future too.

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