Spotify is starting to dabble in hardware, and it has some pretty huge aspirations.
A job listing on the company’s website says that Spotify wants to build “a category defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles” that will “affect the way the world experiences music and talk content.” The listing was first spotted by Zatz Not Funny.
Beyond Spotify’s lofty goals, there aren’t a lot of details here about what it has in mind. The listing says the device will be internet connected and come “directly from Spotify,” which at the very least clarifies that this isn’t going to be a simple integration with some other company’s device.
The effort is clearly still quite early
Zatz also points to a separate job description showing Spotify has taken an interest in voice control — something that’s been rumored to come to its apps but could also be helpful for hardware. We’ve reached out to Spotify for comment.
For now, Spotify’s comparisons to the Pebble, Echo, and Spectacles are the most telling part of its plan. There was nothing else quite like those devices when they came out, and they each introduced hardware that in some way elevated an existing software experience.
It seems safe to assume that, in some fashion, Spotify is interested in making a device that’s capable of playing music. That almost sounds quaint at this point — a decade after the iPod started to be crushed by smartphones — but that also means there could be some real room to reinvent the space.
One possibility is something like the Mighty, an iPod shuffle-like media player that streams music from Spotify. But the Mighty came from a crowdfunding campaign, and it’s yet to ship. Meanwhile, the Pebble Core — a run-tracking device and streaming music player with a 3G connection — was canceled before it could ever ship. These are iterative ideas, but they fill gaps that smartphones don’t quit hit. The connected speaker space is also growing increasingly popular.
The fact that all of this is being revealed from job listings suggests that Spotify isn’t all that far along here. The hardware listing even states that the person who fills the position will “define the product requirements” for the hardware and software, which means Spotify really could just be getting started here.