Spotify Car Thing: Company takes €31 million hit by ending in-car entertainment device
Spotify has stopped manufacturing the Car Thing, five months after the company released the device in the US. Originally priced at US$89.99, Spotify marketed the Car Thing as an affordable way to update in-car entertainment (ICE) without modifying your vehicle. Performance was disappointing though, even if the Car Thing suppressed cabin, road and vent noise better fairly well.
Currently, Spotify is offering the Car Thing for US$49.99, billed as a 'Summer Sale Special'. However, Spotify's language in its latest earnings report makes it clear that it will not replenish existing stock levels. Apparently, Spotify has taken a €31 million charge in winding up Car Thing, quite the expenditure considering the device's short product life.
According to TechCrunch, a Spotify spokesperson explained:
The goal of Spotify's Car Thing exploration was to better understand in-car listening, and bring audio to a wider range of users and vehicles. 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.
Ultimately, it remains to be seen for how long 'existing devices will perform as intended'. While the Car Thing works with the current version of Spotify, there is no guarantee that the company will update the device indefinitely. As Liliputing notes, existing devices will perform as intended (for now).