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Spotify might be making its own smart speaker

From a job posting on Spotify's website, we can extrapolate that the company is building its own hardware unit, most likely a smart speaker.

Published onFebruary 20, 2018

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  • A job posting on Spotify’s website suggests the company is looking to build a hardware unit of some kind.
  • While no clear indication is given of what that product might be, it’s most likely a smart speaker.
  • The smart speaker war is already in full swing, so it might be too little too late for Spotify. But it might have one distinct advantage.

The fight for music streaming supremacy is mostly between Spotify and Pandora, the two largest services available in the United States. However, Apple and Google have a huge advantage over the two that might enable them to steal their thunder: hardware. With Google’s line of Home products and Apple’s new HomePod, the ease of getting customers to sign up for the platform offered by their hardware manufacturer could push Google and Apple to the top.

Spotify knows this, which is why it’s not too surprising to hear that the company might be working on releasing its own speaker system. The source for this rumor comes from Spotify itself, technically: this job posting on its website is a clear call for an Operations Manager to oversee the development and manufacture of some sort of hardware unit. And what else would Spotify make besides a speaker system?

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While the job listing doesn’t say what the Operations Manager would be creating, it’s a fair bet that a smart speaker of some kind would be what the company would want. While Google’s Home products, Apple’s HomePod, and Amazon’s Echo products are all wonderful, a Spotify speaker would ensure the company doesn’t get kicked off any platform. If Spotify wants to have the leg-up over Pandora, it needs to have a concrete place in the homes of users, and the only way to really ensure that is to have its own hardware that it completely controls.

However, the smart speaker war is already in full swing. Even Apple, the most successful company in the history of humanity, has been heavily criticized for showing up so late to the smart speaker game. By the time Spotify gets a product created and shipped, it may be too little too late.

The one advantage that a Spotify speaker would have is the possibility of giving users a choice of which virtual assistant is integrated. It is entirely possible for Spotify to build both Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa into the hardware, which would be a huge selling point for people who want a third-party smart speaker but want to stay in whichever ecosystem they prefer.

What do you think? Would you buy a Spotify-branded smart speaker?

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