Spotify has decided to stop producing “Car Thing”, the streaming provider’s attempt to create a hardware audio player for cars.
Production shutdown was mentioned in Spotify’s second quarter results report(Opens in a new window). In a statement, the company reported that weak demand and supply chain issues prompted Spotify to end manufacturing of the product.
“The goal of Spotify’s Car Thing exploration was to better understand in-car listening and bring audio to a wider range of users and vehicles. Based on several factors including demand of products and supply chain issues, we have decided to stop production of Car Thing units,” a Spotify spokesperson said.
However, the Car Thing still remains for sale on Spotify’s website. Interested customers only need to pay $49.99 for the device, down from its original price of $89.99.
“Existing devices will work as intended and we will continue to support available units for the foreseeable future,” the Spotify spokesperson added. “This initiative has unlocked some useful lessons, and we remain focused on the car as an important place for audio.”
Yet unlocking these “useful learnings” has come at a cost to Spotify. The company had to pay a €31 million charge to end production of Car Thing, leading Spotify to report a higher-than-expected gross margin in its earnings report.
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The company is also exiting the Car Thing product just five months after the product’s widespread launch in the United States. The accessory product has been designed to provide a simplified and personalized in-car listening experience for Spotify Premium subscribers. The result was a phone-like device that could be mounted inside a car, and featured a large dial to help you browse through songs.
But according to our review, the device offered no major advantages over just using the Spotify app on your smartphone. Other weaknesses were its slow response to voice commands and the lack of any navigation functionality.
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