You probably don’t associate Tesla Motors with music streaming — and for good reason. But the electric car maker is apparently holding discussions with the music industry about creating its own streaming service, according to a new report.
The Palo Alto-based, Elon Musk-headed company has reportedly been talking with basically every major label. The topic of those discussions seems to be gaining the licensing rights to create a proprietary streaming platform that would come bundled with its electric cars, industry sources told Recode. This suggests that Tesla is hoping to bypass integrating with existing streaming platforms — or, at the very least, offer a viable alternative.
Recode’s record label sources aren’t entirely clear about how ambitious Tesla’s streaming plans are, but they said that the automaker is likely to offer multiple tiers of service. A base-level offering would be similar to a web radio platform, akin to Pandora. And on a practical level, a proprietary streaming service could make sense, as every Tesla vehicle comes equipped with an integrated touchscreen device. Premium tiers of such a service could also serve as an extra source of income for Tesla, particularly since its customer base is growing. As of January, the automaker has delivered about 100,000 cars and has about 400,000 preorders for its upcoming Model 3, Recode reported.
Despite those considerations, offering its own streaming option in lieu of partnering with already established services doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. It makes less sense when one considers that Tesla already has an established partnership with Spotify for electric cars sold abroad. Tesla, for its part, has been rather quiet on the issue, too — only a statement that’s vague on details. “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,” Tesla said. “Our goal is to simply achieve maximum happiness for our customers.”
Tesla’s streaming service stands to face some stiff competition from the dominant giants, however. Spotify is close to having about 50 million paying subscribers, and Cupertino announced at WWDC that Apple Music has reached 27 million subscribers — up from 20 million in December 2016.