Daniel Ek
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Spotify Daniel Ek. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Spotify)

Daniel Ek Talks Spotify’s ‘Car Thing’ During Investor Conference

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(CelebrityAccess) — Spotify CEO Daniel Ek shared some new insights into the launch of the Car Thing, a new streaming device designed to bring Spotify to automobiles.

Spotify has been testing the product and has begun signing up its U.S. premium subscribers to an invite only beta for the mobile media player ahead of its anticipated rollout.

The Car Thing is a smart player that connects with the Spotify app on your mobile phone and integrates its use more neatly into the modern automobile, enabling voice commands and providing large control wheel to navigate menus and playlists while on the road.

Ek discussed the Car Thing during a conference call with investors this week, noting that automobiles are an area of potentially untapped expansion for the streaming platform.

“When it comes to the Car Thing, I think, again, the most important thing as you think about audio products is that the car happens to be a major use case. So if you look at the car radio, which is still today where most of the offline radio listening happens, it is pretty clear that it’s an ongoing transformation that is going on. If you look at cars like Tesla, etc., you see it very clearly where these streaming services now is the de factor radio in the car,” Ek told Truist’s Matt Thornton during the conference call.

“And so Car Thing is our attempt of speeding up that progress into a future where you will have just as great experience as you have on your mobile in your car and you can now use that as your sort of in car entertainment system instead of this antiquated radio systems that most people have in the car. And early results is just very, very encouraging. It seems like we’ve really struck a chord with what consumers want. And so we are seeing a lot of excitement, but it’s of course very, very early. And I think based on how people will use the product, etc., we will certainly think a lot more about what the appropriate go-to-market strategy will be and how we can most effectively roll it out,” he added.

Spotify has previously secured deals to integrate its streaming service with automakers but the Car Thing provides a direct path to consumers while expanding on Spotify’s existing product.

As for when the Car Thing will be widely available, Ek wasn’t willing to commit. He told Bank of America’s Jessica Reif Ehrlich that the streamer is still filling existing orders.

“So it’s too early to say I think from a broader rollout perspective. But as we mentioned there, when we roll it out broader, it will likely have a consumer price point as well and not be a free product as it has been in this early innings,” Ek said.


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