Spotify stopped manufacturing its ‘Car Thing‘ vehicle accessory in a move that comes as a complete and total surprise that absolutely no one could have predicted.
Car Thing, for those unfamiliar, is a small smartphone-like accessory with a big dial stuck on it for navigating Spotify in the car. The thing is, most people who have Spotify also probably have a smartphone that they use Spotify on. And most people who have a car also likely have a way to play Spotify in that car, such as through a Bluetooth connection or the car’s built-in infotainment centre.
I may be in the minority here with a car so old it doesn’t have Bluetooth or an infotainment centre, and even I thought the Car Thing was useless (not that it was ever available in Canada).
As reported by The Verge, Spotify’s latest earnings release noted that its decision to stop manufacturing Car Thing “negatively impacted” its reported gross margin. Coincidentally, that line from the earnings release also happens to be Spotify’s announcement that it’s stopping production of the Car Thing.
Specifically, killing Car Thing cost the company €31 million (roughly $40.45 million CAD).
“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 product demand and supply chain issues, we have decided to stop further production of Car Thing units. Existing devices will perform as intended. This initiative has unlocked helpful learnings, and we remain focused on the car as an important place for audio,” a Spotify spokesperson told TechCrunch.
For U.S. residents interested in scooping up a Car Thing before it’s gone for good can grab one for $49.99 USD (down from the regular $89.99 USD). Spotify hasn’t provided any detail about how long it will support Car Thing beyond telling TechCrunch that existing devices will “perform as intended.” With that said, you may want to save your money for a product that hasn’t just been canned.