◎《Financial Times》去年的一份報告建議Spotify與硬體開發公司Flex合作開發一款車載音樂播放器。2019年5月，Spotify發表了一篇博客文章，揭示了它正在美國測試一種語音控制的車載音頻設備，該設備被稱為“Car Thing”。今年早些時候，又發現了另一則廣告，Spotify正在為一個名為“the Car Mountain Bet”的項目尋找經驗豐富的UI（用戶界面）設計師。
Recognizing a need to keep up its margins and appease shareholders, Spotify is looking to get into the hardware business, by allegedly launching a line of car audio devices.
Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0
One of the secrets to Apple’s success is the fact that it makes much of its profit on the various hardware items that it sells. iPhone, computers, iPads and accessories are the main engine for revenue, while software and services, huge businesses in themselves, take a back seat. Spotify has been watching, and understands that in order to up its margins to keep shareholders happy, then a hardware device must be in its future, and it looks like car audio is the choice.
While there are only rumors about the product it has in mind (more on this later), Spotify’s intent was confirmed thanks to a new job listing for Head of Hardware Commercial Development. The ad also states that the new employee’s efforts will be directed at the automotive industry.
Spotify has teased a new car hardware device for a while now. Last year, a Financial Times report suggested that the company was building an in-car music player with hardware development company called Flex. Then in May 2019, Spotify published a blog post revealing that it was testing a voice-controlled, in-car audio device in the US, which it called the “Car Thing.”
Earlier this year another ad was spotted where Spotify was looking for an experienced UI (user interface) designer for a project being called “the Car Mountain Bet.”
While you can see why Spotify might want to build some high-margin hardware, one has to wonder why it chose a piece for the car. It’s true that American commuters spend huge amounts of their day behind the wheel, but there are already numerous built-in choices for entertainment, from the radio, to satellite radio, to song playback from a smartphone.
Would car owners want to spring for another add-on car audio piece just to access one service? Is all the previous data about time spent commuting now upended because of Covid? Will people continue to work from home in the future? Regardless, it looks like a car hardware device is in Spotify’s future.