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article imageSpotify job openings reveal company's work on 'physical products'

By James Walker     Feb 20, 2018 in Technology
Spotify is preparing its own range of physical hardware products, according to company job postings discovered online. Spotify is intending to create "category defining" devices built to rival smart speakers including the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
The job advertisements were first spotted by the music industry news site MusicAlly. They include listings for hardware operations managers, engineering managers and project leads. One of the ads states that Spotify is "creating its first physical products," which involves the creation of a new "operational organisation" for their production and marketing.
While this isn't the first time that rumours of first-party Spotify hardware have leaked, the posts imply the company is making notable progress towards bringing its range to market. It's focusing on "creating innovative Spotify experiences" by deeply integrating its streaming software with purpose-built hardware.
A Spotify smart speaker could help the company retain and attract subscribers as smart home tech becomes more competitive. While details are scant on how many products Spotify's creating, it seems most probable that it will first debut a connected smart speaker. If the company adds some form of digital assistant tech, it could enable Spotify to use its market lead in streaming as the launching point for a diverse ecosystem of products.
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Smart speakers are seeing strong growth as interest in smart home tech picks up. Devices such as the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod are gaining traction, which could lead to increased adoption of their integrated music streaming services.
Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri all favour their respective first-party streaming platforms, Amazon Prime Music, Google Play Music and Apple Music. As users interact with their digital assistant, they'll be pushed towards these services.
This could marginalise third-party providers like Spotify as more users bring smart speakers into their home. Creating its own dedicated streaming devices could help Spotify to protect itself from the centralisation of smart home platforms.
The job listings don't indicate when Spotify will be ready to launch its products. However, the references to managers for manufacturing operations and the supply chain suggest the design stage could be nearing completion. The company now seems to be turning its attention towards actually producing the devices, before rival smart speakers get too established.
More about Spotify, smart speakers, Devices, Smart home, Music