Why the hell does Tesla want to launch a streaming music service?

Why the hell does Tesla want to launch a streaming music service?
Credit: Tesla Motors

Of all the things Tesla might want to busy itself with at this point in its journey, it’s apparently chosen an incredibly difficult – and possibly foolhardy – challenge: launching its own streaming music service.

Recode reports that the electric car maker has met with numerous major labels with regards to building a service that it’ll make available in its vehicles. I’m still trying to figure out how this makes any sort of sense, and I can’t come up with anything.

For one thing, the streaming market is saturated. There are already several services available in the US and across the globe that have done all the legwork necessary to get their platforms off the ground and to win customers. And Tesla already has a deal in place to integrate Spotify into its cars sold outside the US.

There’s also the fact that customers would miss out on the community-oriented features that make incumbent services attractive. As most of today’s major players like Spotify, Google Play Music and Apple Music have practically identical libraries, it makes sense to consider hopping on the phone that more of your friends are on so you can easily share playlists and recommendations.

And of course, the fun of a cross-platform service is that you can take all your preferences, curated lists and uploaded tracks with you wherever you go, whether that’s in your car, your living room or a friend’s place. It isn’t clear if Tesla plans to address those needs.

I also imagine that pretty much anyone who can afford a Tesla is already hooked onto one streaming service or another, and so they may not find much use for the company’s own offering if it ever comes to fruition.

Clearly, Tesla knows something we don’t. It’ll be interesting to see if the company goes ahead with its audacious plan to beat the biggest and best streaming players at their own game; we’ll be listening closely to learn more.

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