Following an ad for a senior product manager last spring that hinted at Spotify's interest in creating a hardware product, this week a collection of new job listings further suggest the launch of a physical Spotify product will be coming in the future (via Music Ally). The listings call for an Operations Manager: Hardware Product, Senior Product Manager: Hardware Production, and Project Manager: Hardware Production and Engineering.
According to the page for the Operations Manager, Spotify is "on its way" to developing and launching its "first physical products," potentially hinting at an upcoming rival device to Apple's HomePod. Although the job listing pages are not full confirmations of Spotify's entry into the smart speaker market, in terms of physical hardware a speaker of some kind does make sense for the music streaming company. The "connected hardware" could also refer to devices like wireless headphones and other music-based products.
A Spotify speaker would enter the market as a competitor to products like Apple's HomePod, which as of now can play Spotify but lacks deep integration with the service and instead favors Apple Music. Spotify's speaker could flip that and focus on the company's own streaming customers, of which there is a large market of more than 140 million subscribers worldwide who could be interested in a Spotify-focused speaker.
The person who gets hired for the position will help the company in setting up an operational organization for manufacturing, and build up the supply chain, sales, and marketing, all while working out of the company's office in Stockholm. All three job listings state that the employee's work will "impact the way the world experiences music."
Spotify is on its way to creating its first physical products and setting up an operational organisation for manufacturing, supply chain, sales & marketing.
We are looking for a passionate and seasoned Operations Manager that will contribute in the creation of innovative Spotify experiences via connected hardware. You will define and manage Distribution, Supply, Logistics, fulfillment and Customer Service for Hardware Products. You will also work with partners to deliver the optimal Spotify experience to millions of users. Above all, your work will impact the way the world experiences music.
As the rivalry between Apple Music and Spotify has grown since the former service's mid-2015 launch, Apple Music is now forecasted to overtake Spotify in paid subscriber numbers in the United States as soon as this summer. That prediction came from The Wall Street Journal earlier in the month, in a report that stated Apple Music's monthly growth rates have been exceeding Spotify's by about three percentage points. In terms of worldwide numbers, Spotify still has about 70 million paid subscribers compared to Apple Music's 36 million.