Spotify could be planning its own smart speaker
Just in case the ‘smart speaker’ market wasn’t crowded enough now the Apple HomePod has arrived, it seems Spotify may be considering officially entering the marketplace.
Amazon, Apple and Google may be pushing their respective music services through each of their voice-controlled speakers, but none of these come close to the reach of Spotify – with 70 million paying subscribers as of last month. So it makes sense that the company would seek leverage to leverage this by manufacturing a physical product of its own, which, according to the Guardian newspaper, it is currently working on doing.
One thing that can’t hide a company’s roadmap is its current job listings, and perusing Spotify’s recent ads for a senior product manager and product manager adept in hardware production and engineering, as well as an “operations manager” reveal that the UK-based company is planning to start work on creating a “category-defining” speaker inhouse. Another listing states: "Spotify is on its way to creating its first physical products and set up an operational organisation for manufacturing, supply chain, sales and marketing," clearly indicating that the company is hoping to shake up the market with an actual product.
Of course, to date, Spotify has been powered via the likes of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, but with Apple’s launch of the HomePod earlier this month (featuring only native Apple Music support), there is a certainly a need for Spotify to do something with its own hardware. It’s currently not possible for Android users to stream it over the Apple's HomePod, though other Apple users can just use AirPlay.
Time will tell what a Spotify will look like – whether it will go down the path of Sonos and support both Alexa and Google Assistant, and whether it will place the same emphasis on audio performance it has for premium users of its service… or whether Spotify will regret the day someone said ‘Hey! Let’s make a product, it can’t be too hard and we’re only competing with Apple, Amazon, Google and every other quality Bluetooth speaker.” Watch this space for more news.