Americans spend a lot of time driving. Those of us who decided to abandon city life years ago for the charms of suburbia understand the pain of the daily commute very well. For 3 years, I commuted from NJ to D.C. twice a week and spent almost 18 hours in the car. That’s a lot of music. Tidal and SiriusXM radio were my salvation. High-end audio manufacturers and the automotive sector have been playing footsie for a few years and there is no shortage of great sounding systems now in a wide range of cars; McIntosh and FCA/ Stellantis have launched very expansive audio systems for the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L and 2022 Grand Wagoneer, and Sonus faber has integrated within Maserati’s MC20. A lot of cars offer integration for your iPhone or Android phone so we’re not that shocked by this announcement from Spotify. Say hello to the Spotify Car Thing smart player.
This announcement comes on the heels of the impending launch of Spotify HiFi, so it’s clear that the streaming service sees the forest from the trees and wants to become the dominant streaming service/hardware provider in the category; both at home, on your phone, and in your car.
There are over 70 million user-generated driving-related playlists on Spotify. No matter where you’re headed, Spotify is the perfect companion in the car, thanks to the many ways to listen to Spotify and our curated playlists, like Daily Drive and Songs to Sing in the Car.
Spotify has announced the limited release of Spotify Car Thing, a new smart player that fills your car with music, news, entertainment, talk, and more.
Currently available to eligible users in the U.S., Spotify Car Thing enables you to play your favorite audio faster, so you’re already listening to that hit song or the latest podcast episode before you’ve even pulled out of the driveway.
Their focus remains on becoming the world’s number one audio platform—not on creating hardware—but they developed Car Thing because they saw a need from their users, many of whom were missing out on a seamless and personalized in-car listening experience.
No matter the year or model of your vehicle, Spotify feels everyone should have a superior listening experience. With Spotify Car Thing, Spotify will be bringing its entire catalogue of music and podcasts to a wider range of users across an even wider range of vehicles.
The limited release of Car Thing is not meant to compete with in-car infotainment systems. Instead, it’s another step in their larger ubiquity strategy—creating a truly frictionless audio experience for its users, wherever they are and however they choose to listen.
Spotify Car Thing makes the entire experience, from setup to navigation, simple and seamless.
Here’s how it works.
Use voice control for easy access
Spotify’s voice search lets you quickly play specific music or podcasts, and can even help you find something new. Just say “Hey Spotify,” then ask for a song, album, artist, playlist, station, or podcast. With four microphones along the top, Car Thing can understand what you’re asking to play, even with the music turned up or your windows down.
Try the dial for a hands-on way to steer to the audio you love
You can also browse deeper, curating the perfect soundtrack to wherever you’re headed. Use the dial to browse, select, play, pause, and discover.
View the touch-screen display to see what’s playing
You can also use the screen to see what’s in your library, as well as results from voice search. Swipe to browse further or skip, or tap to play.
Choose four preset buttons to get to your favorites faster and then change them anytime
They’ll always bring you the newest podcast episodes and up-to-date news.
Spotify Car Thing is currently a limited product launch, available in the U.S. on an invite-only basis. For a set time, Car Thing is available at no cost (excluding shipping) to select Spotify listeners. Car Thing requires a paid Spotify Premium subscription plan and a smartphone with WiFi or mobile data connection. Eligible paying subscribers only. One Car Thing per eligible subscriber, while supplies last.
Your move Sonos. Tick tock. Tick tock.
For more information: Spotify Car Thing Smart Music Player