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Spotify’s answer to Amazon Echo or in-car player could arrive this month

Spotify is holding an event later this month, with a rumoured smart speaker and an in-car music player tipped to be on the agenda.

Following its debut as a public company earlier this week, the music streaming pioneer has called the tech press to a gathering in New York City on April 24.

The company is giving absolutely nothing away in the invite, which simply promises a “news announcement” rather than a product unveiling or something similar.

There are also no details to be gleaned from the plain design of the invite itself.

Perhaps most intriguingly, reports on Friday suggested an in-car music controller or dedicated music player, bundled in with a subscription, might be on the agenda.

The Verge reports Reddit users are claiming to have received offers for such a device within the Spotify app. The ad promised the controller as part of a $12.99 a month subscription tier (or $155 for a year up front).

The device (see image below) was advertised as a voice-controlled add-on that sits on the dashboard, likely plugging into the car’s audio system. The image shows track control buttons, a screen displaying currently-playing media and an LED presumably to acknowledge the user’s voice.

Other Reddit posters claimed they were told of built-in 4G and Amazon Alexa support in the pre-order ads, which were appearing as far back as February.

Related: Amazon Echo vs Apple HomePod

Hardware on the way?

The firm has long been rumoured to join the likes of Amazon, Google, Apple and Sonos with a branded smart speaker tailored to Spotify music.

Since its inception the firm has focused solely on apps for mobile, desktop and all manner of connected devices, but it seems hardware could be on the way.

The firm has been advertising job listings suggesting as much, while voice control testing within its app has been underway for a while now.

Whether Spotify would launch a speaker with Alexa or the Google Assistant (or both) built-in is up or conjecture at this point. The company could conceivably we working on its own AI assistant.

Earlier this week Spotify set a record for the largest direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange (meaning without an IPO). Shares initially jumped, but slipped a little thereafter.

The flotation is still being seen as a successful, with the company valued at around $30 billion.

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