Mon. Aug 8th, 2022

Spotify has stopped manufacturing Car Thing, a dashboard accessory designed to make it easier to control the streaming service on your phone from a car. The change was quietly announced as part of the company’s latest results release, noting that the decision cost the company $31 million (about $32 million). “Reported gross margin was negatively impacted by our decision to discontinue production of Car Thing,” the press release said.

“Based on several factors, including product demand and supply chain issues, we have decided to discontinue further production of Car Thing units,” a company spokesperson said. TechCrunch. “Existing devices will perform as intended. This initiative has provided useful lessons and we remain focused on the car as an important place for audio.”

Car Thing had a bit of a weird release. It was initially made available by invitation only in April 2021, before Spotify opened a public waiting list in October to purchase the accessory. It didn’t go on general sale until February, meaning it was generally available for just five months before Spotify publicly announced it was stopping production.

When we tried it out for ourselves, we weren’t quite sold on the promise of the Car Thing. More and more cars are now equipped with infotainment systems that provide easy, built-in access to Spotify – eliminating the need for a separate device – and there are plenty of existing solutions to get your phone’s audio playing from your car stereo without the need for a pricey accessory tied to a single music streaming service.

At the time of writing, the accessory is still available for purchase on the Spotify website, where it is currently sold at a discounted rate of $49.99 (less than the regular retail price of $89.99). Spotify hasn’t said how long it plans to provide support for the device, but given the short-lived release, we wouldn’t bet it would be particularly long.

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