Spotify testing voice search as rumors continue to swirl about a branded smart speaker

Last month, we told you about some job openings that Spotify had posted as the world's largest music streamer appeared to be getting ready to enter the hardware biz. The device that Spotify is rumored to be building is a smart speaker. We suspect that it will work natively with Spotify's own music streaming service in an attempt to get more consumers to shell out the $9.99 a month for the company's premium subscription plan.

Considering that a smart speaker is made up of a speaker and a virtual assistant, Spotify is testing a new voice search interface that suggests the company will introduce its own challenger to Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri and Cortana. Only a small number of Spotify users are getting to see the voice search feature that allows you to request a certain artist or musical style. A few years ago, Spotify tested a voice-controlled "Driving Mode," but it never went past the testing stage.

Spotify filed for an IPO late last month, and while it's top line is growing, the company still lost approximately $1.5 million last year. In fact, since debuting on October 7th, 2008, Spotify has yet to turn a profit. And while a smart speaker isn't going to single handedly help Spotify move into the black, producing its own virtual assistant could be a smart move as Spotify will soon have to answer to stockholders.

A video has surfaced of Spotify's voice search interface. We've embedded it at the top of this story for your viewing pleasure. You can also click on the slideshow below for some screenshots of the voice search interface undergoing testing.

source: TechCrunch



1. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2453; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Considering the scope of this supposed “smart speaker” is just music, I can’t inagine you could price this speaker more than $100. In fact, if they don’t have something like Alexa or Google Assistant to back it up for searches outside of music I just don’t see this as being that “smart”.

5. sgodsell

Posts: 7456; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Ummm, look at Apples HomePod is mainly for Apple music. Yet Apple sells that thing for $350, and it doesn't even support stereo sound. I do agree with you on the part about a smart speaker and needed to have either Alexa or Google assistant. However Google Home can currently play Spotify songs and playlists using your voice right now. So why would they want to build their own speaker is beyond me.

7. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2453; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Right but my point was more so the fact that at least the Apple HomePod has smart assistant capabilities (limited they may be) beyond just music. So I can see the “extra cost”. But with this just being a Spotify only device I just can’t see the appeal considering you could buy a Sonos speaker or any other speaker that can play Spotify services.

2. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2255; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Whack! Google, Amazon, and Apple are doing this now! Sorry Spotify! Trying to keep themselves relevant for a short period until you see them fold in a few years.

8. libra89

Posts: 2298; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

I think SoundCloud would fold much sooner than Spotify ever will. And SoundCloud is still here so what does that say?

3. RevolutionA

Posts: 399; Member since: Sep 30, 2017

Apple music is the best I think. Why use this when you have Apple music...

6. sgodsell

Posts: 7456; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Apples Homepod is $350 and ONLY support Apple music via voice. However Google Homes today can play Spotify playlists and songs today using your voice. Not to mention all the other stuff Google Assistant can do that Apples HomePod cannot do.

4. emjoigently

Posts: 154; Member since: Aug 22, 2017

Spotify works so nicely with Google Assistant. The job is pretty much done already. Don't fight Goog, Spotify. They aren't your enemy.

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