In a strange turn, CEO of electric automaker Tesla, billionaire Elon Musk, says he is interested in creating his own streaming music service. According to a report by Recode, Tesla has held talks with major record labels to license a proprietary music service that would come with Tesla vehicles, which already have high tech dashboards and solid Internet connectivity installed. It is believed that Tesla would want a multiple tiered system, similar to the structure operated by Pandora. “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,” said a Tesla spokesperson in regards to the report, neither confirming or denying them.
Tesla already has a deal with Spotify to use their service in vehicles sold outside of the United States, which makes this decision just a little more strange. Even more so, it would have to compete with the big players in the music streaming market, which are Spotify and Apple Music. Spotify currently has 50 million subscribers, while Apple Music has 27 million subscribers. However, Tesla recognizes itself as a niche upmarket brand, with no realistic hopes of reaching the spread major American automakers such as Ford currently has, so maybe numbers aren’t their focus in this project. There is also no timetable for this project, so it could also be a situation where they want it to ready in time to roll out more mainstream vehicles with the service as an additional perk. In fact, it’s unclear if Tesla even wants to offer this service to everyone, or make it exclusive to vehicle purchasers. Musk also has experience in making inroads on industries unrelated to his main business of carmaking. One could cite his involvement in solar power and space travel as examples of this pioneering spirit.