Spotify is apparently taking the initial steps to enter the hardware landscape, much like Snapchat, which, until its Spectacles came out, had been purely a software company.
Rumors have been circulating for a while about Spotify creating its own music-focused hardware. Now, spotted job listings seem to suggest that the streaming company is ramping up such efforts.
Spotify Enters The Hardware Game
As discovered by MusicAlly, one of the job listings states that Spotify is "on its way to creating its first physical products," and that the company is currently trying to set up an operational organization for all aspects of manufacturing and production, including supply chain, sales, and others.
Spotify is looking for three individuals to fill the Project Manager, Senior Project Manager, and Operations Manager positions in Hardware Production. These roles will have a hand in making innovative Spotify experiences via connected hardware, according to the listings.
What Hardware Products Will Spotify Create?
Prior job listings indicated that Spotify intends to create a "category-defining" product similar to the soon-to-be-defunct Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and the aforementioned Spectacles, and hinted at the integration of voice controls. The easiest product to assume Spotify will be creating is, of course a smart speaker.
Not only does having its own smart speaker make sense, being that it's a music-focused company, but there's also the fact that the timing seems perfect: smart speakers have a growing number of consumers, thanks in large part to Amazon's Echo line of devices, plus the Google Home lineup. Apple has also entered this race with its very own $349 HomePod. A lot of brands also have their own smart speakers, such as Sonos.
However, if Spotify plans to incorporate voice control on the notional speaker, how, theoretically, would it do that? Does it plan on rolling its own virtual assistant? Samsung knows how that's a hard thing to pull off — wink, wink Bixby — especially with voice control heavyweights Alexa and Google Assistant already dominating the whole market.
Or perhaps there's enough demand for music-only devices for Spotify to create such a product, especially considering that Apple has phased out its entire iPod lineup save for the iPod touch. Maybe there's a market out there who want to use a separate device for listening to music, maybe even one that has powerful audio hardware, like a Quad DAC. This is a poor guess, though, considering Spotify doesn't offer lossless quality streaming — at least not yet.
What about wireless headphones? Apple's AirPods have particularly been hot for a lot of consumers, so there's obviously a market for wireless earbuds that work well. But will the same set of people warm up to Spotify-branded ones?
Whatever Spotify ends up making, do you think it's going to be a hit? As always, if you have any thoughts, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!