Tesla is now rumored to be in talks to create their own music streaming service, according to a recent Recode report. Elon Musk has reportedly been speaking directly to big music labels, suggesting that Tesla’s service would be an original new service seeking to go straight to the source rather than partnering with a middleman like Spotify or Apple Music.
The idea does make logical sense: if Tesla is indeed able to follow through on their promise to make completely driverless cars, providing in-vehicle services for drivers to use during long drives is a smart and potentially necessary idea. Tesla cars currently boast super high-tech dashboards as well as the ability to connect to the internet, so the addition of a music streaming service isn’t insane.
Speaking at a Tesla shareholder meeting earlier this month, Musk said that it’s “very hard to find good playlists or good matching algorithms” for music, and teased an “announcement about finding the right music later this year,” according to TechCrunch. Should this idea ever turn into a reality, we can assume it would be included in all Tesla cars, though we don’t know if it would be released to those of us mere mortals who can’t afford a Tesla. And although Tesla produces very few cars compared to other manufacturers like Ford or GM, it has taken 400,000 pre-orders for the Model 3, which should be distributed by mid-2018, so music labels would be looking at these numbers when deciding whether partnering with Tesla and Musk would be a good idea.
This looks like another big business move from Elon Musk, a man who is no stranger to big ideas; this is the same guy who is trying to colonize Mars. However, it has not come without skepticism. Many question why Musk wouldn’t choose to partner with an existing service like Spotify or Apple Music, seeing as they already have 50 million and 27 million paying subscribers, respectively. In fact, Tesla already has a deal with Spotify for cars sold outside the U.S. But no one really knows what Musk’s thought process is, so it looks like all we can do is wait for now.