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.