On Friday Spotify announced it was in the testing phase of a new piece of hardware called “Car Thing”. The device is voice-operated and will plug into a vehicles’ 12-volt outlet. Upon hearing this you’d assume Car Thing’s purpose is the play Spotify in-car, but that’s not exactly the case.
Car Thing is first and foremost a measurement device most similar to a PPM. Spotify’s goal is to learn more about listening habits and preferences, and the Car Thing will allow them to observe how people listen to music and podcasts. Spotify isn’t selling Car Thing no plans to get into the hardware business in the foreseeable future. Car Thing’s testing will be done in the US only, with a small group of invited Spotify Premium users.
Spotify also teased out the idea of similar devices like the “Home Thing”. It would be hard to imagine something like this competing with Amazon Echo or Google Home smartspeakers, but maybe their real end game is audio measurement, which would put Nielsen squarely in Spotify’s crosshairs.
In the immortal words of Pepper Brooks from the movie Dodge Ball, “It’s a bold strategy Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for them.” 🙂