Spotify is always testing new ways to make its streaming music service more appealing to users. It recently passed the 100 million subscriber mark for its paid premium service. About a year ago, we first heard that Spotify was working on streaming audio gear for the car and this January learned that the in-car streaming device was set to debut in late 2019.
Spotify has now directly confirmed that it is testing a car streaming device that it is calling "Car Thing." The streaming audio company says that with Car Thing, it is examining how people listen in the car via voice-controlled music and podcast devices.
However, the confirmation throws cold water on rumored Spotify plans for creating hardware devices. It states unequivocally that Car Thing was explicitly developed to help it learn how people listen to music and podcasts, and it is not creating hardware. It will be conducting tests of its hardware device in the U.S. only with a small group of invited Spotify Premium users.
Spotify says that it might do similar voice tests in the future and warns users not to be surprised if word of "Voice Thing" and "Home Thing" surface. Spotify wraps up, stating that it has no current plans to make this specific hardware device available to consumers. However, it says that what it learns from testing with the hardware device will dictate how it develops experiences everywhere people listen.