Spotify has stopped manufacturing Car Thing, a dash accessory designed to make it easier to control the streaming service on your phone from a car. The change was quietly announced as part of the company’s latest earnings release, which notes that the decision cost the company 31 million euros (about 32 million US dollars). “Reported gross margin was negatively impacted by our decision to stop manufacturing Car Thing,” the statement said.
“Based on several factors, including product demand and supply chain issues, we have decided to halt production of Car Thing units,” a company spokesperson said. Told Tech Crunch. “Existing devices will work as expected. This initiative has unlocked some useful learnings, and we remain focused on the car as an important place for audio.
Because Thing had a bit of a weird exit. It was originally made available by invitation only in April 2021 before Spotify opened up a public waitlist to purchase the accessory in October. It didn’t go on general sale until February, meaning it was only widely available for five months before Spotify publicly announced it was halting production.
When we tried it for ourselves, we weren’t entirely sold on the Car Thing promise. More and more cars now come with infotainment systems that offer easy built-in access to Spotify – eliminating the need for a separate device – and there are plenty of workarounds to make your phone’s audio be played on your car stereo without the need for an expensive accessory tied to a single music streaming service.
As of this writing, the accessory is still available for buy on Spotify website, where it’s currently being sold for a discounted price of $49.99 (down from its regular retail price of $89.99). Spotify hasn’t said how long it plans to offer support for the device, but given its short-lived release, we wouldn’t bet it’s going to be particularly long.