Spotify launched in-car entertainment system Car Thing in the U.S. on Tuesday, TechCrunch reported. It’s the company’s first ever hardware product.
The company explained its interest in Car Thing is about solving a need for customers who want a “more seamless” and personalized in-car listening experience. Although many cars today support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, Spotify points out that the average age of a car in the U.S. is actually 11 years old and the average lifetime of cars is 18 years. That means there are still a large number of cars on the road that don’t support modern, in-car infotainment systems. Car Thing is being introduced to serve this market — and likely, to give Spotify the opportunity to explore future business models where it has a more direct relationship with customers inside the vehicle, though the company isn’t speaking to its longer-term ambitions at this time.