Spotify's Car Thing Faces the End: What Owners Need to Know

Sophia Schmidt


Spotify's Car Thing Faces the End: What Owners Need to Know

Spotify's venture into hardware with Car Thing is officially coming to an end. The music streaming giant has announced that the device will stop working by December 9th, 2024. This news comes as a blow to the small community of Car Thing users who appreciated its unique approach to in-car music streaming. Unfortunately, the company is also suggesting that users dispose of their devices responsibly, raising concerns over e-waste.

Initially launched to much fanfare, Car Thing aimed to provide a seamless music streaming experience for drivers. Its design and user interface were well-received, but the device had notable limitations. It required a constant wireless connection to a smartphone, essentially making it redundant for many users. Features like navigation and messaging were conspicuously absent, forcing drivers to switch back to their phones for anything beyond music.

Spotify has been communicating the discontinuation via email to Car Thing owners. The company has provided a hard end date and even detailed instructions for proper disposal. This approach has sparked criticism from environmental advocates who argue that Spotify should offer recycling programs rather than pushing the responsibility onto consumers. The notion of creating more e-waste is particularly troubling in an age where sustainability is becoming increasingly important.

It seems that Car Thing never quite found its niche in the market. Despite its sleek design and the allure of a dedicated music streaming device, the $90 price tag was hard to justify. Many users found that Spotify's existing Car Mode on their smartphones was more than sufficient for their in-car listening needs. As a result, Car Thing struggled to find a substantial user base, with many units likely sold off during clearance sales.

For those who have been using Car Thing regularly, this announcement might feel like the end of an era. However, it's a reminder that even well-intentioned products can fail to gain traction. As we move further into a world dominated by integrated tech solutions, standalone devices like Car Thing face an uphill battle. Spotify's decision to end support for Car Thing signifies the conclusion of an experiment that, while innovative, ultimately didn't resonate with enough users.