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Spotify wants to make a wearable, even though that’s probably a horrible idea

Published Apr 24th, 2017 6:09PM EDT

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Spotify — the music streaming service which boasts a huge subscriber count, lots of great licensing agreements, and a music catalog that is the envy of just about every single one of its competitors — isn’t happy. The company hasn’t come out and said it, but how could it possibly be pleased with its current position if it’s willing to take a ridiculous gamble on a product category that even Apple, Samsung, LG, and Sony are struggling to find value in. That’s right: Spotify wants to make a wearable, and it’s one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard.

According to a public job posting, Spotify is in the market for a “Senior Project Manager for Hardware” whose job it will be to lead “an initiative to deliver hardware directly from Spotify to existing and new customers.” That somewhat vague description is followed by a list of products Spotify wants to try to mimic in its efforts: “a category-defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles.”

Just to be clear, here’s the current standing of the three products Spotify wants to emulate:

Pebble Watch – Kickstarter success, company ultimately folded because it couldn’t compete with Apple, Samsung, and other smartwatch makers. It was bought by Fitbit for its assets and employees.

Amazon Echo – Easily the most successful of the three, though the Echo’s success hinged solely on Alexa’s utility. Now that Alexa is available on just about everything including smartphones, Amazon’s do-it-all speaker has lost a considerable amount of its appeal.


I love Spotify. It is, in my opinion, easily the best streaming music platform to ever exist. It’s still clunky and broken in some places, but it’s a far cry better than anything its competitors have come up with, and that includes Apple Music. So, why wearables? What could Spotify possibly have to gain when, according to subscriber numbers, most streaming music subscribers are already using Spotify on their current smartphones and even smartwatches? The answer, sadly, is probably “nothing,” but hey, it wouldn’t be the first time a successful startup got into a fight it didn’t belong in.