Is Tesla Inc. working on developing its own streaming music service?
That’s the rumor, last week that said Elon Musk’s company had contacted the major music labels about licensing a music service that would be bundled with its cars.
Musk himself teased at the idea earlier this month during an investor Q&A session: “I do listen to music, particularly in the car,” he said. “In terms of the music selection, I think there are going to be some exciting announcements in terms of the music selection. I think it’s very hard to find good playlists or good matching algorithms. We have something that works OK right now, but I think it could work really, really great. Yeah, there will be an announcement on that later this year. I think it’s going to be — this is going to be like the music you want to listen to.”
Days later, Musk tweeted the addition of a new Tesla playlist:
Try the new Tesla DJ station on streaming radio
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
didn’t deny it had something up its sleeve. “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 told Recode. “Our goal is to simply achieve maximum happiness for our customers.”
But even for a man known for his fantastical ideas — such as , transportation or to ease traffic — this one sounds a little crazy from a purely business standpoint. For example, Spotify AB, the world’s largest streaming service, despite its more than 50 million subscribers because of the sky-high costs of song royalties.
Tesla has nowhere near that potential audience, raising the question of whether a streaming service would be anywhere near cost-effective: Tesla has sold just over 200,000 cars since it launched the Model S, though by the end of 2018, after the rollout of its upcoming Model 3 sedan.
Musk is also CEO of SpaceX, which in theory could give Tesla an avenue to launching its own satellite radio service. But it seems a more sensible scenario would either be a collaboration with an existing streaming service, such as Spotify (which it already teams with in Europe) or Apple Inc.
, or else the blockbuster acquisition of a company such as Sirius XM Holdings Inc.
or Pandora Media Inc.
It’s also unclear if a Tesla music service would be limited just to Tesla owners — or available only in its cars. For obvious reasons, most streaming services aim for the largest possible customer base, on as many platforms as possible.
And what would a potential Tesla Music even sound like? We don’t know Musk’s musical tastes, but that didn’t stop us from compiling a Tesla playlist. Enjoy!