Spotify is allegedly releasing a voice-controlled, in-car music player later this year, The Financial Times reports. Rumors about the device have circulated since April, when select Spotify users claimed that they received in-app offers to upgrade their accounts to a car-specific streaming package which included the device for an additional monthly fee. Now, the Financial Times claims that the device will cost around $100 and will take advantage of the company’s own “Spotify Voice” system, which was introduced on Spotify mobile apps last year.
Similar to Apple’s CarPlay, Google’s Assistant and Android Auto offerings, and Amazon’s Echo Auto with Alexa, Spotify’s first hardware venture will allegedly connect to car stereos via Bluetooth (as many current smartphones already do) and include buttons that allow users to program shortcuts to their favorite playlists, as The Verge points out. The company is rumored to have partnered with Flex as a manufacturer, though other hardware details about storage capacity and cellular connectivity are still unknown.
Last month, Spotify settled a $1.6 billion lawsuit with Wixen Music Publishing, the company which represents various compositions by Tom Petty, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, Rivers Cuomo, and others. Run the Jewels member El-P recently spoke out against the company’s failure to protect artists from fraud on the platform. Since then, similar incidents have occurred for SZA and Beyoncé, who both had unreleased tracks uploaded onto the platform by imposters before being quickly taken down. Read The Financial Times‘ full report here.