Spotify kills Car Thing in product streamlining; “We understand it may be disappointing.” Yup.

Spotify’s announced discontinuation of its Car Thing interface, a dedicated device for streaming Spotify in-car, has been met by owners with disappointment, bafflement, requests, and anger.


“F— you Spotify for discontinuing the Car Thing. Some of us aren’t ‘blessed’ with new cars and this made it safer than playing with my phone or radio while driving. What a trash company.” (@xjustgorb)


In the company’s official public announcement, Spotify seemed to acknowledge the specialness of the device, even as it presaged its discontinuation:


“Car Thing is our first hardware product that allows users to control Spotify through car speakers when connected to a phone by using both voice recognition and preset buttons. The device launched in April 2021 (RAIN coverage HERE), and from the start seemed to us a splendid idea.” –Spotify


But soon enough — 15 months later to be exact — signs emerged that Car Thing would not be a long-term offering; in July 2022 Spotify shut down production of Car Thing, while maintaining service to existing devices. The current announcement which is causing so much upset specifies that Car Thing service — the connection to Spotify — will stop at the end of this year.

While users have seven months to find other (probably less convenient) solutions to in-car Spotify listening, the dismay is fully heated now.


“It’s disheartening to hear that the Car Thing project is being shut down, rendering devices useless after just a few years. This decision contributes to the ever growing e-waste problem, an environmental concern we cannot ignore.” (Bill Mackenzie, Global Sales Executive, Ingram Micro Lifecycle


“A passionate developer and hacker community had formed in recent years to support the devices, which makes this decision feel a bit cruel.” — Michael Miraflor, Chief Brand Officer, Hannah Grey VC


“The pile of ewaste is about to grow thanks to Spotify deciding to disable service for a product that was still in production just 2 years ago.” Renato Silva Laporte, Technical Support Analyst, Kinaxis


“Spotify discontinuing Car Thing after taking our money is quite disheartening. Spotify should have tested the product with a small demographic for FREE instead of making this a money grab.” (@janaythemack)


“At least make it open source so it doesn’t end up being e-waste!” (@ElkBit)


“Honestly @Spotify bricking the Car Things is such a dumb and irresponsible move. They just created physical waste.”



“It was $80. I understand not updating it anymore, but completely bricking it? Why?!” (@ZororeoOwO)


Spotify’s stated reason for discontinuing Car Thing is imprecise: “We’re discontinuing Car Thing as part of our ongoing efforts to streamline our product offerings. We understand it may be disappointing, but this decision allows us to focus on developing new features and enhancements that will ultimately provide a better experience to all Spotify users.

See Spotify’s explainer HERE.


Brad Hill