You’ve got to hand it to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek: He’s willing to try anything, no matter how silly it might seem, if it can help build his business. And we’re not talking about signing Joe Rogan. Instead, we’re thinking of Spotify’s new Car Thing device, released widely today. This gizmo lets people play the Spotify app in cars, theoretically more easily than doing so directly on their smartphones. Talk about turning back the clock to an earlier era! As Spotify says in its blog post, “Let your phone do phone stuff. Car Thing has one job and does it awesomely.”
In other words, Spotify is rejecting the idea that a smartphone is the Swiss Army knife of consumer devices. You can understand the sentiment. One of Spotify’s weaknesses is that it relies on hardware made by other companies, such as Apple and Google, to reach its users. Spotify has said that Car Thing reflects its “ubiquity” strategy, which aims to make it as easy as possible for people to listen to its service. The same strategy is presumably why Spotify has reportedly considered selling smart speakers for the home. Spotify seems to want to give consumers more-direct access to its service.