A new job listing reveals that Spotify are looking to start developing their own technology “akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles”.
The listing was first revealed by Zatz Not Funny which showed Spotify are on the hunt for a Senior Product Manager for hardware. Not a big deal, until you look into the advert which reveals that Spotify are intending to get in on the tech market, a massive new direction for the music streaming company.
It’s not entirely clear what area of technology they will be entering yet with the advert suggesting 2 wearable devices and Amazon’s incredibly popular home speakers ‘Echo’ given as examples. Whilst a home speaker might seem the most aligned with Spotify’s product, their streaming service is already streaming through nearly all of the home Wi-Fi speakers so it might be a lost cause entering that market.
Additionally, the source who supposedly first revealed the listing to Zats Not Funny confirmed to them that it was a wearable that Spotify wish to develop. Another job listing posted up by Spotify also shows they are searching for someone to develop voice capabilities for them “outside of Spotify’s core iOS and Android applications” and help integrate them into “areas like desktop, TVs, speakers, cars, wearables, headphones and partner application integrations.”
There are various reasons why Spotify might want to start investing in physical technology beyond their music streaming service. I suspect the primary reason may be the difficulty in profiting from music streaming due to incredible high licensing costs. Despite being one of, if not the, world’s most successful music streamers Spotify are still struggling to make become profitable. Recent talks with labels have opened up new deals, like timed Premium exclusives from Universal, to help reduce licensing costs but it’s still not enough.
With physical retail Spotify can use that to advertise their streaming platform even further whilst also making a clean profit from their own product without any intermediary costs. That’s not to say it will be a success however, as many companies have begun delving into the wearable and home speaker arena since their popularity has rocketed, but not many survive.