Spotify Could Be Working on an Apple HomePod Killer
Spotify recently published a recruitment ad on its website seeking an “Operations Manager — Hardware Product,” according to Musically, which discovered the posting. The job description says the employee will “define and manage Distribution, Supply, Logistics, fulfillment and Customer Service for Hardware Product,” among other duties. Spotify has posted other job ads that also discuss hardware production and engineering.
For its part, Spotify hasn’t confirmed that it’s working on hardware. The company is in a bitter streaming-music battle with Apple Music for dominance in that growing market. However, Spotify has kept to software and streaming and unlike Apple, doesn’t build hardware as a core function in its business.
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When Apple released its new HomePod smart speaker earlier this month, Spotify support was conspicuously absent. Apple clearly wants to push people to its own music service and offering them the opportunity to also listen to Spotify might not be something Apple wants to do.
To be clear, the Spotify postings don’t say that the company is working on a HomePod alternative. But with more companies entering that market, and considering Spotify isn’t available on Apple’s HomePod, the company could be considering an alternative that will center on its own technology.
The move might make sense: Apple’s HomePod has been roundly criticized for its high, $349 price tag and sub-par Siri virtual personal assistant experience. While Spotify doesn’t have a virtual assistant of its own, both Amazon and Google offer their assistants—Alexa and Google Assistant, respectively—to third parties. Spotify could use one or both of those in its fight with Apple. That is, if it’s really working on a new smart speaker.
Spotify did not immediately respond to a Fortune request for comment on the job postings and speculation.