Spotify kills the car thing

And finally Business News Digital

By Andy Malt | Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2022

Spotify’s car is dead. The streaming service announced in its second-quarter earnings report yesterday that it had stopped manufacturing the device that allowed users to stream music in their car.

It was in 2019 that Spotify first launched the gadget, initially by invitation only for research purposes – with the company saying its first proprietary hardware product was primarily “developed to help us learn more about how which people listen to music and podcasts”. ”.

However, two years later, the thing – still called Car Thing – went on sale to anyone who wanted it in the United States. And as recently as April this year, a whole bunch of new features were added to it.

Spotify said in a statement to Engadget that “several factors” had led to the recent decision to discontinue the product. Although one of the key things seems to be that – despite Spotify saying in 2021 that it was making it more widely available due to “a need from our users” – few people actually wanted one.

After all, many newer cars now have access to in-dash music streaming. And for everyone else, rather than using a special smartphone-like device to access Spotify in the car, they could probably just, you know, use their smartphone.

In its earnings report, Spotify admitted that its overall gross margin was “negatively impacted by our decision to stop manufacturing Car Thing”, but this was “partially offset by a positive change in prior period estimates. for the liabilities of rightsholders”. Adorable stuff.

Despite the device’s failure, Spotify told Engadget that it had nonetheless “unlocked useful lessons” from Car Thing over the past three years, and the car remains an “important place” for audio.

For now, Spotify will continue to support existing Car Thing devices, and you can buy yourself one of those left in the Spotify warehouse for the bargain price of $49.99 (previously $89.99) failing, useless gadgets are your thing.

Some thought in 2019 that Car Thing might be Spotify’s first step to becoming active in making and selling its own digital music gear. But, alas, apparently not.

The company will only focus on selling boring old premium subscriptions I guess. Although the number of premium subscribers still increased by six million in the last quarter, so there is at least growing consumer demand for these. For now at least.



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