Spotify no longer produces Car Thing, a dashboard add-on that made it simpler to operate the streaming service on your phone while driving. The choice cost the business €31 million (about $32 million USD), according to the company’s most recent financial statement, which made the announcement inconspicuously. According to the press statement, “our decision to stop manufacturing Car Thing had a negative impact on reported gross margin.”
A company representative says, “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.”
The release of Car Thing was a little strange. Prior to Spotify opening up a public wait list to purchase the accessory in October 2021, it was first made accessible by invitation-only in April 2021. Only five months after it became widely accessible, in February of this year, did Spotify openly announce that it was ceasing production.
You weren’t fully persuaded by the Car Thing’s promise after trying it out for ourselves. There are many existing solutions to getting your phone’s audio to play out of your car stereo without the need for an expensive accessory tied to a single music streaming service, as more and more cars are equipped with infotainment systems that offer simple built-in access to Spotify, eliminating the need for a separate device.
The device is still on sale on Spotify’s website as of this writing, where it is now being offered at a reduced price of $49.99 (as opposed to its usual sale price of $89.99). Although Spotify hasn’t specified a timeframe, we wouldn’t count on it lasting very long given the device’s short-lived release.