Why would Tesla want to start its own streaming music service?


2017 Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

It seems every other day Tesla CEO Elon Musk has news about the next big project for the electric-car maker.

This time, the news is about a project that seems relatively achievable, but one that produces as many questions as it answers.

According to reports, Tesla is looking into starting its own streaming music service.

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Recode reports the automaker has approached many major labels to discuss licensing music for an exclusive Tesla music streaming service.

It could be viewed as a case of "anything you can do, I can do better" syndrome—since the move clearly counters the stronghold that Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music have on the market today.

It's even more intriguing since Tesla now has a deal in place with Spotify for Tesla vehicles sold outside of the United States.

2017 Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

Why would Tesla want to try its hand at a music service?

“We believe it’s important to have an exceptional in-car experience so our customers can listen to the music they want from whatever source they choose,” a Tesla spokesperson said.

“Our goal is to simply achieve maximum happiness for our customers.”

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While the benefits to Tesla seem debatable, labels might be more than happy to oblige.

Apple Music and Spotify currently hold the vast majority of the streaming market; Spotify alone has 50 million paying subscribers, and Apple Music is home to 27 million.

The Tesla streaming service being outlined would be included with all of its cars and would not require an additional monthly fee.

2017 Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

For customers, that would certainly be a nice perk—and for Tesla, it could allow the automaker to control its music interface to a greater degree.

It may also be another way to keep outsiders away from diving too deeply into Tesla technology, which might be required to integrate an existing service.

That could be particularly important in the case of computing and consumer electronics powerhouse Apple.

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Earlier this year, Apple spoke officially of its self-driving car plans for the first time, though the realization of any such plans won't be an actual vehicle, as once speculated.

Instead, Apple will likely work to own the dashboards in cars of the future—something that has begun today with Apple CarPlay.

So a Tesla-exclusive music service might serve to keep Apple at bay. What form the music service might actually take remains to be seen.

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