Spotify has been developing a “Car Thing” music player for cars that went on sale last year for only a limited number of people. Spotify is making this music player available to the general public in the U.S. The in-car infotainment system is available in retail for $89, a $10 increase from its early access price.
The new music system competes with popular services like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. These popular services are primarily available in more recent vehicles only, leaving older vehicles behind. Spotify’s Car Thing solves that problem by making an infotainment system available for all vehicles playing music from Spotify.
Hey Spotify! Play Music
It connects to a user’s phone and uses its cellular data to connect and stream music over the car’s speakers. Likewise, Car Thing supports various connection methods like USB, Bluetooth, and Aux.
Spotify first began this journey by extending its app on your phone to your vehicle to simplify streaming. ‘Car Thing’ has an intuitive user interface so you can easily navigate through Spotify while driving. The user interface has various shortcuts to more accessible access to playlists, albums, and podcasts.
Moreover, the player also supports voice commands that you can trigger by saying the “Hey Spotify” hotword. “This is Car Thing from Spotify, now available in the U.S. Ask, tap, turn or swipe to get to your favorites faster. With “Hey Spotify,” you have hands-free music every mile of the way. Car Thing works with any Premium account and connects to a mobile phone for data,” said Spotify.
However, there’s a catch for getting the music player. The $89 price tag isn’t the only amount you need to pay. Using ‘Car Thing’ requires Spotify Premium, a recurring subscription. Hence, you need to pay for the Premium subscription if you plan to get the music player.
While there are many aftermarket in-car infotainment systems, the market doesn’t have any product from a music company itself. Moreover, these third-party systems are beneficial for older vehicles without any intelligent music systems.
However, it seems that Spotify’s Car Thing owners will be forced to use Spotify without access to other apps. The ‘Car Thing’ launch comes right after the company removed the vehicle mode from its smartphone app. If you want to get one, you can order it from Spotify’s website.