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Spotify will reportedly release an in-car music player later this year

Spotify will reportedly release an in-car music player later this year


It’s rumored to cost around $100

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Spotify is planning to release an in-car music player with voice controls later this year, anonymous sources told The Financial Times. Spotify has previously teased this type of product with pop-up screens in the Spotify app seen by some customers, as The Verge reported back in April, but today’s news further confirms its existence. The Times says the device will be priced around $100. Its rumored release comes as companies including Apple (with CarPlay), Google (Assistant and Android Auto), and Amazon (Alexa) compete for in-car dominance.

Spotify’s very first hardware device will attempt to deliver music more directly to customers instead of going through Apple’s CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto, platforms found on newer vehicles that the company already supports. It will sync with car stereos through Bluetooth — much like a smartphone — and include buttons you can preset to correspond with your favorite playlists. The device will support voice commands like those currently offered in the Spotify mobile app, but other hardware features like storage capacity and whether the device will offer LTE cellular connectivity are unknown.

The new device might be a tough sell

Having a single-purpose Spotify device that can be left in the car at all times could be more convenient than constantly fiddling with your phone to play songs over Bluetooth (or with an aux cable). It might also be safer, depending on where you’re able to mount the product. While both CarPlay and Android Auto can be configured to play Spotify, not everyone has access to those in-car software platforms from Apple and Google, and you need to plug in for the best experience.

Designing a device for Bluetooth-compatible stereo systems gives Spotify a much wider base of potential customers and guarantees support for more vehicles, but convincing people that they need it might be a tough sell. The better idea might be to bundle it with the Spotify music service, and the company seems to be exploring this: Spotify’s previous mentions of the in-car product suggested it will be offered as part of a new monthly subscription — though it might require a 12-month commitment. We’ve reached out to the company for comment on today’s report. Earlier this week, Spotify rolled out a simplified Car View mode for its Android app, which is automatically activated when connected to a vehicle’s Bluetooth system.