Less than a year after its debut, Spotify is killing off its short-lived 'Car Thing'

Less than a year after its debut, Spotify is killing off its short-lived 'Car Thing'
  • Spotify has stopped manufacturing its Car Thing.
  • The Car Thing, a dashboard accessory for streaming music, was widely available for only five months.

Just a few months after it became available to the general public, Spotify is killing off its Car Thing.

The Car Thing, Spotify's first attempt at hardware, was intended to help users control the streaming service while driving. The palm-sized touchscreen device plugged into a user's car, and let them browse playlists and control music without having to look at their phone.

Spotify quietly announced its decision to stop manufacturing the device in its quarterly earnings release, disclosing that the move would cost the company about $32 million. The company's gross margins, the release said, were "negatively impacted by our decision to stop manufacturing Car Thing."

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"Based on several factors, including product demand and supply chain issues, we have decided to stop further production of Car Thing units," a company spokesperson told Insider. "Existing devices will perform as intended."

Spotify first announced the Car Thing in April 2021, offering the gadget to a select few Spotify Premium subscribers on an invite-only basis. It then offered a public waitlist for the Car Thing last October, but it only went on sale for the general public in April.


According to the company's website, the Car Thing required a paid Spotify Premium subscription — it wouldn't work with a free Spotify plan. And while Spotify has said it wasn't looking to compete with other in-car infotainment systems, it was up against stiff competition from the start.

Because many new cars come with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which also allow drivers to control phone apps through their car's infotainment screen, Car Thing was best suited for older cars with clunky screens, or those without screens at all.

You can still buy the Car Thing from Spotify's website, for a discounted price of $49.99 (down from $89.99). An email to customers, seen by Insider, shows the discount will be available until Aug. 7, or while supplies last. Spotify said existing devices will still work and that the company will support units "for the foreseeable future."