Tesla hints at proprietary in-car streaming service

Call it rumor or call it leak — Tesla’s supposed new streaming service, which has been in the chatter mill since late last week, probably falls between hearsay and revelation.

Someone who works at Tesla, and sometimes anonymously distributes leaked screenshots from within Tesla’s software builds, sent out material indicating that the futuristic car company is working on something called TTunes, purportedly a music playback and streaming system for Tesla cars.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted in response to the rumor/leak, denying the name TTunes, but not necessarily denying the development of a service:

“Tesla does not really have ‘TTunes.’ That’s a joke.” –Elon Musk

There is some degree of customer demand for improved in-car audio. Current US/Canada models offer a service powered by Slacker, a fine service which does not have a user footprint comparable to Spotify. (Spotify is reportedly available in European models.)

If Tesla is indeed contemplating a music service launch, with corresponding label agreements, the decision might hinge on size of the Tesla fleet on the road:

“Tesla’s own music streaming service doesn’t make a lot of financial sense with a fleet of vehicles in the hundreds of thousands but Tesla plans to ramp up into the millions and 10s of millions with the Model 3, upcoming Model Y and a slew of other vehicles in a relatively short about of time,” according to Electrik, the recipient of the Tesla leak. “The music and entertainment experience is a cornerstone of the driver experience so Tesla having more control over this rather than relying on 3rd parties does make a lot of sense.”

Brad Hill