Spotify announces new in-car player: ‘Car Thing’ 

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Spotify has come out with a limited release of their first tangible product, Car Thing. Spotify Premium users are now able to be put on the list to get their own on the Spotify website.

Gaby Jones, Culture Editor

Seemingly out of nowhere, Spotify announced their new product named Car Thing, on April 13. This new product comes as a surprise for many of Spotify’s users–many confused about the device’s purpose and many excited to get their hands on one of their own. 

What is a Car Thing? According to Spotify, the gadget is a smart player designed to bring the streaming service directly to your car. With both options for hands-on and hands-free, the device is meant to optimize the Spotify listening experience in your car. 

The device’s screen is 4.8 inches in width, with four speakers and basic navigation controls and much like other well-known digital assistants, the Car Thing can be activated by saying “Hey, Spotify.” 

It is compatible with AUX, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In order to set it up, you first must connect Car Thing to power with USBthen connect your phone to Car Thing using Bluetooth and finally connect your phone to your car stereo using either Bluetooth, AUX or USB. 

Car Things are only available for Spotify Premium users which is likely a way to pull in more users.  As of now, Spotify is offering Car Things for “free” for a limited time. Premium members only have to pay for the 6.99 USD shipping and handling costs. 

Since the first round of Car Things were released to the first few listeners who signed up to receive one, you currently must be put on a waiting list to be notified when you can acquire your own. It is set to retail at 79.99 USD when it is released to the entire public. One could assume that this release strategy is being used to scope out the number of interested buyersThe online reception has been very mixedmany are chiming in to express their thoughts about the Car Thing’s necessity or lack thereof. Eager users have been enticed by its reduced price as well as its ability to further accessorize their cars. 

The new device comes with a dash mount, vent mount and CD mount. The setup and layout are similar to that of a SiriusXM radio but with only Spotify content, playlists and libraries.  

The Car Thing’s outreach is intended to push past Spotify’s current members and extend the appeal to those with older radios and cars without touch screen capabilities. 

As Spotify grows in prominence, they continue to branch out by developing new ways to try and dominate all other streaming services. By working their way into everyday car radio, the Car Thing would mean more and more users exclusively using Spotify and taking attention off satellite radio