The Car Thing has been one of Spotify’s oddest endeavors to date. Aside from the rather generic and unusual name, it is almost so far removed from any of the streaming giant’s hardware partnerships, especially since it didn’t partner with anyone for this in the first place. Still, Spotify clearly believes that there is a market for it, even if small, and is cautiously opening up its Car Thing for purchase by any Spotify user if you’re willing to wait and pay up for one.
The Spotify Car Thing is a dedicated Spotify app player with a touch screen and a dial geared specifically towards that use case. It doesn’t have speakers of its own, connecting to the car for that, nor does it have an independent data connection and uses your smartphone to stream music. It is, however, a cheaper option than buying a new car or installing a new head unit just to have something that plays your Spotify tunes.
As reasonable or as ridiculous as that premise sounds, Spotify seems intent on selling it at least to a few of its subscribers. It just announced a limited release for the Car Thing, opening it up to any and all Spotify subscribers. Unlike its even more limited free giveaway to Premium subscribers, this one will require interested buyers to queue up on a waiting list and pay $79.99 when they get their turn.
The list is open to both free and premium Spotify subscribers in the US only, but there is an important caveat. To actually be able to use the Car Thing for streaming, you need to be a Premium subscriber. So while you can buy one as a free user, you’ll have to eventually sign up for a paid tier to use it.
Spotify doesn’t say how long the list will be open for sign-ups, and there’s really no way to know how long that list already is. The streaming giant also teases that it has pushed some software updates but doesn’t go into detail about what those are.