A digital illustration of a young couple looking confused and disappointed as they hold a Car Thing device by Spotify, with a car dashboard and a smartphone showing an error message in the background,

Spotify plans to disable all Car Thing devices it has sold

Spotify Announces the Discontinuation of Car Thing Devices

Overview of Spotify’s Car Thing

Spotify, the global audio streaming service, introduced the Car Thing, a device designed to enhance the in-car streaming experience for users without the latest infotainment systems in their vehicles. Launched as a limited release in 2021, the device offered an alternative way to access Spotify’s extensive library of music and podcasts through a dedicated hardware setup, specifically for older car models that lacked advanced connectivity features.

Reasons Behind the Decision to Disable Car Thing

Despite the initial excitement surrounding its launch, Spotify has recently announced plans to disable all Car Thing devices. This decision may come as a surprise to the community but is rooted in several contributing factors. First and foremost, the reach and impact of the Car Thing device have been limited, affecting its continuation and support. Technological advancements and the integration of superior native infotainment systems in cars have also reduced the demand for standalone devices like the Car Thing.

Moreover, Spotify has been refining its focus to enhance and expand its core audio streaming service and investing in areas that promise broader growth and user engagement. Branching hardware initiatives like Car Thing may not align well with this refined focus, prompting the strategic withdrawal from these less impactful ventures.

Implications for Users

The discontinuation of Car Thing means that Spotify will be remotely disabling the devices, rendering them non-functional. This move will affect users who have come to rely on the device for their daily streaming needs. Spotify has announced that they will be offering refunds to all users who purchased the Car Thing. Details regarding the refund process are expected to be shared by Spotify directly to the affected users via email.

For users who have integrated Car Thing into their daily routines, this might require looking into alternative methods to connect their Spotify accounts in the car, such as Bluetooth mobile connections, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or even aftermarket infotainment systems.

Future Focus for Spotify

With the phasing out of Car Thing, Spotify reaffirms its commitment to enhancing its software capabilities and focusing on its primary service offering. The company plans to invest more vigorously in personalized audio experiences, the integration of podcasts, and the development of new features that will elevate the user experience on its platform.

This move might also signify Spotify’s strategy to leverage partnerships with automotive manufacturers to ensure that its streaming service is seamlessly integrated into increasingly sophisticated car infotainment systems, thus negating the need for standalone devices like the Car Thing.


The decision to disable and discontinue Spotify’s Car Thing marks the end of a brief chapter in Spotify’s hardware exploration. While some users may be disappointed by the news, Spotify’s sharpened focus on its core capabilities could promise enhanced streaming services down the line. As the digital landscape and user preferences evolve, Spotify seems poised to adapt and innovate, meeting listener needs in new and potentially more impactful ways.


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