Elon Musk is interested in negotiations with major record labels rather than working with other streaming services
Elon Musk has held conversations with all the major music labels about launching its service for his electric car company Tesla. This service would come bundled with its cars, as opposed to being a standalone streaming service like Apple Music.
While an in-car service doesn’t put it into immediate competition with existing streaming services, it’s interesting that Tesla would choose to go at it alone rather than inking a deal with a company like Spotify, Apple, or even Jay Z’s Tidal service.
Music industry sources say the carmaker has had talks with all of the major labels about licensing a proprietary music service that would come bundled with its cars, which already come equipped with a high-tech dashboard and internet connectivity
“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.
According to Recode, the luxury car manufacturer is readying a music streaming service with multiple tiers of pricing. Elon Musk’s idea is to offer multiple levels of service starting with a radio-type platform similar to Pandora.
Given how many pies Tesla founder Elon Musk has his fingers in, could this be a challenge to Apple somewhere down the road? The high-end carmaker said it was aiming at ways to please drivers.
The move comes as music streaming rapidly grows and becomes the preferred method of listening for many motorists rather than terrestrial radio.
Spotify has maintained its dominance of streaming despite challenges from upstarts such as Apple Music and Tidal and more established players such as Deezer and Rhapsody.
Those familiar with Tesla’s multi-billionaire founder Elon Musk won’t bat an eyelid at the prospect of the car company entering the music streaming market. Musk is also the founder of PayPal, SolarCity and SpaceX, which launched a landmark commercial spacecraft in 2012.
More than that, he’s renowned for entering struggling markets with ventures that rail against what is perceived profitable.
The proof is in the sales. Tesla sold under 100,000 as of January, and has taken over 400,000 pre-orders for its new Model 3 vehicle.
As Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora struggle to make an annual profit (Pandora reported a net loss of US$132.3M for the three months to end of March), and with news of Guvera’s bankruptcy still front of mind, Musk has hope for the market.
Musk may have to rethink his Tesla sale add-ons though. Currently, anyone who buys a Tesla gets free data for the life of their car, and a free Spotify premium subscription for six months.