Spotify is getting serious about entering the hardware realm. The Swedish music-streaming giant, which is currently preparing to become a public company, has posted a trio of hardware-focused job advertisements on its website, as first reported by Music Ally earlier today.
The most revealing of the job ads is for the position of Operations Manager – Hardware Product, and unambiguously states:
Spotify is on its way to creating its first physical products and setting up an operational organisation for manufacturing, supply chain, sales & marketing.
Ads for the two other roles, Project Manager Hardware Production & Engineering and Senior Project Manager Hardware Production, are less explicit in terms of the full nature of the roles. Indeed, Spotify already integrates with many third-party hardware makers, so it’s possible these roles could be focused on such integrations. But it’s more likely that all three roles are linked.
Spotify has actually advertised for hardware recruits before — last year it posted a listing for Sr. Product Manager-Hardware, which said:
You will be leading an initiative to deliver hardware directly from Spotify to existing and new customers; a category defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles.
The most likely device that Spotify will be working toward is, of course, a smart speaker. This will raise further questions around which voice assistant the company will use — will it license Alexa or Google Home? Spotify could even build its own AI assistant from scratch, but that would be a costly and resource-intensive endeavor.
Other potential hardware options could be something like a Spotify mp3 player that would appeal to runners or anyone who likes to travel without a bulky smartphone on their person. Of course, there are similar devices already out there from third parties such as Mighty.
So we don’t know a great deal about Spotify’s hardware aspirations. But we do know it’s looking to hire at least one person who will “define and drive the hardware operations process within Spotify” and “define and manage distribution, supply, logistics, fulfillment, and customer service for hardware products.”
Spotify’s hardware plans still seem to be in a pretty early stage, so it’s unlikely we’ll see anything concrete emerge this year.
VentureBeat reached out to Spotify for further information, but the company was unable to furnish us with any more details.