Back in February Spotify was on the hunt for someone to head up product development of some sort of hardware device. Initially, we speculated that the device in question would be some sort of smart speaker to compete against the Amazon Echo and the Google Home.
It seems that we may have been half right. Today, via Android Central, we learned that users on Reddit posted screenshots of ads that appeared in their Spotify apps promoting what looks to be some sort of device that connects you to Spotify in your car. Check out the image below.
It’s clear that the hockey puck-like device goes in the car and the two hardware buttons on the side point to the device playing music. But is the unit itself playing the music like an in-car smart speaker, or is it connected wirelessly to the car stereo? It appears from the ads that the unit has voice control capabilities, but will it be Google Assistant- and Alexa-connected, or does Spotify have something else planned?
Right now, we don’t have much to go on. However, an exciting bit of information is that pricing appeared in some of the ads. The ads suggest that pricing for the unit will be included with your monthly subscription to Spotify, albeit with a bit of a price increase. It could be – and we’re heavily speculating here – that Spotify will introduce a new plan that includes the lease of one of these car units, kind of like how ISP’s will include the leasing of a router with your internet plan.
If this is true or at least kind of correct, it would be a significant differentiator for Spotify from its rivals like Pandora and Apple Music. The streaming music model is pretty much the same across all competitive brands now, so if Spotify has something that only it offers, that could be a huge boon to its subscriber numbers.