Spotify is hiring people to cook up hardware as innovative as the Amazon Echo

Music-streaming giant Spotify wants to build its own hardware, according to job listings first spotted by Dave Zatz.

“You will be leading an initiative to deliver hardware directly from Spotify to existing and new customers; a category defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles,” one listing for a senior product manager reads. Another job listing focused on “voice” as a platform.

The three products Spotify cites are wildly different, but all brought a unique experience and interface to their users. That suggests that whatever Spotify is looking to cook up in its hardware lab, it won’t be a product like “Mighty,” the iPod shuffle for Spotify. Mighty was crowd-funded last year, but has not yet been released. While Mighty is a good idea, it’s more of an adaptation of the iPod shuffle for the streaming era, rather than a “category defining product.”

Here’s what the prototype looked like:

Spotify’s ambitions seem bigger than that, though it could likewise be focused on freeing Spotify from the smartphone.

Spotify, like all the big music streamers, has had trouble turning itself profitable as it prepares to go public this year. It’s a tough market, especially because many of the premium on-demand services are viewed as interchangeable by consumers. They all come in at a similar price point ($US9.99) and offer similar catalogues of millions of songs. While Spotify has tried to set itself apart with things like its popular “Discover Weekly” playlists, which use algorithms to suggest music you’ll like, an innovative hardware product might be a way to get people to choose Spotify over competitors like Apple Music.

Spotify declined to comment.

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