Tesla Music Streaming Services and Apps (Spotify, TIDAL, Slacker, TuneIn and more)

By Alex Jones
Tesla supports various music services
Tesla supports various music services
Not a Tesla App

While Teslas are filled with a plethora of industry-leading features, new owners are often surprised by the incredible quality of the Tesla audio system and its audio features.

In fact, it is believed that Tesla’s sound systems are on-par with premium Bang and Olufsen systems ($12,000 optional sound system in vehicles like the Audi A8). Elon Musk even admitted in a tweet that they used former Bang and Olufsen engineers to design the audio systems found in the Model 3 and Model Y.

Tesla continues to refine the audio experience for Tesla owners, as indicated by the release of the new subwoofer equalizer settings as of update 2021.44.25.

With this incredible audio experience standard across all models, it should come as no surprise that music streaming is a priority for Tesla.

Premium Connectivity

Part of the selling points of Tesla’s Premium Connectivity is the seamless music streaming abilities offered by Tesla.

With a Premium Connectivity plan, drivers can easily stream audio without the use of cellphone pairing solutions or Bluetooth streaming.

Bluetooth Audio

If a Tesla driver chooses not to purchase the Tesla Premium Connectivity Plan, they can stream audio via Bluetooth from their cellphone.

Audiophiles would point out that the act of streaming via Bluetooth degrades the quality of the music to compress the data stream for wireless transmission. A physical connection with a USB cable connected to a cellphone is not currently supported by Tesla.

Hotspot

In addition, drivers can use their cellphone as a hotspot, allowing the vehicle to stream audio such as Spotify using their device's data connection.

When using your device as a hotspot, you'll have access to almost all of Tesla's features included in Premium Connectivity. These include audio and video streaming services like Spotify and Netflix (accounts with these services are still required), Caraoke and more.

The only options it doesn't include are live traffic visualizations and satellite-view maps.

Available Tesla Music Streaming Services

Like many modern vehicle manufacturers, Tesla has focused on developing an infotainment ecosystem that relies on streaming services to deliver music and podcast streams to the driver via Wi-Fi and cellular connections.

Many of these services are premium services not routinely found in standard car software. Currently, Tesla offers a direct stream from Slacker, Spotify, TIDAL, and TuneIn. This is in addition to FM radio and SiriusXM for the Model S and Model X.

Tesla Streaming (Slacker Radio)

While branded as a Tesla streaming service, Tesla has partnered with Slacker Radio to provide a free Slacker Plus account (ad-free) to Tesla Premium Connectivity customers. In the US, this music service shows up in the vehicle simply as "Streaming."

This account mirrors the features of a Slacker Premium account, enabling drivers to search for songs using voice commands, create and stream playlists, and enjoy curated streaming stations for their enjoyment.

Spotify

Arguably the most well-known of the streaming options, Spotify has built a reputation for exclusive high-quality podcasts and playlist management that makes them one of the most popular streaming services in the world (current market share of 31% of the global streaming market). While not known for its audio playback quality, Spotify’s streaming service offers an industry-leading catalog of material that is popular with Tesla drivers.

Although Spotify offers the ability to stream songs with a higher bit rate (HQ), it is currently not available in Teslas.

TIDAL

Tidal’s ad-free music streaming service is billed as a premium lossless music stream (indicating a higher quality audio experience when compared to other Tesla streaming partners).

Tesla users with a TIDAL HiFi subscription can stream audio files at 1411 Kbps using a lossless codec that doesn’t sacrifice quality for streaming bandwidth speeds.

However, users have noted that streaming these lossless files over an LTE connection can cause frequent buffering issues due to the large file sizes.

TIDAL does offer the ability to download songs via Wi-Fi to prevent buffering issues.

TuneIn

A lesser-known subscription-based streaming product, TuneIn offers Tesla drivers ad-free streaming of music, news networks (CNBC, CNN, FOX News Radio, and MSNBC), and live play-by-play sports with no blackouts from the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL.

There is a free tier for TuneIn users interested in listening to their curated playlists and sports radio products.

You can simply navigate to TuneIn and start listening; no need to create an account.

SiriusXM

Popular for its large selection of curated music stations, talk radio catalog, and sports streaming, SiriusXM is a leading subscription and semi-ad-supported streaming solution for the U.S. and Canadian markets.

SiriusXM is only available in the Model S and Model X using a satellite receiver which is not available in the Model 3 or Model Y.

While there have been rumors of an internet-based SiriusXM streaming solution for other models, that solution has yet to appear in the Model 3 and Model Y.

Caraoke

Tesla Caraoke is Tesla’s version of the popular karaoke format. The free service (requires Premium Connectivity or Wi-Fi) allows drivers to play and sing popular karaoke songs directly from their car's infotainment system.

USB Drive (Downloaded MP3s)

For owners who prefer to play their own downloaded music collection, Tesla also allows you to plug in a USB drive and play MP3s directly from your device.

This feature can be useful if you don't subscribe to Tesla's Premium Connectivity or sometimes drive in areas with poor reception.

Your USB drive will need to be formatted using exFAT for this to work. Once the drive is plugged in you'll be able to access your music via a new USB icon available in the launcher.

Tesla will then let you view your music by artist, album, song title, or even search for your favorite songs.

Hide Music Apps / Sources

You can hide any music apps that you don't use
You can hide any music apps that you don't use
Not a Tesla App

If there are certain music sources that you don't use, you can prevent them from showing up in the vehicle's Apps menu in the launcher. Simply open your music player, select the right-hand most button for options, choose Sources and then unselect any sources you'd like to hide.

You can navigate back to this menu to re-enable sources at any time.

Missing Streaming Services

Apple Music, the second most popular music streaming service in the US, remains absent from Tesla's streaming lineup.

Amazon Music, a close third-place finisher, also remains absent from Tesla’s audio streaming options. Pandora is also not yet available from Tesla’s infotainment system.

While a YouTube video app is available in the Theater section of the Tesla infotainment system (while parked), YouTube’s music streaming service, YouTube Music, is currently not supported.

It should be noted that workarounds exist for playing content from excluded streaming services like Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Youtube Music, etc. through the use of Bluetooth streaming.

FM & AM Radio

Tesla's also offer traditional FM radio. The Tesla interface will automatically show you all the available stations around you so that you quickly start listening to a station without having to use a dial.

Although older Model S and Model X vehicles had the ability to listen to AM radio, that capability is no longer available in newer cars. However, TuneIn has many stations available for streaming, so your favorite AM station may also be available to stream for free on TuneIn.

Apple AirPlay & CarPlay Rumors

Recently, Elon Musk indicated in a tweet that Tesla was considering the addition of AirPlay connectivity. While short of an Apple CarPlay integration, Apple Airplay would allow for improved audio streaming from iPhones when compared to current Bluetooth solutions.

Elon to Switch to the Cybertruck; Volume Production in 2024

By Kevin Armstrong
Cybertruck mass production to start in 2024
Cybertruck mass production to start in 2024
Kim Java

Tesla's fourth quarter and 2022 earnings call with investors was mostly good news unless you were planning to drive a Cybertruck soon. While company executives eagerly jumped on every question asked by investors, there was a noticeable pause when a point-blank question was asked about Cybertruck's mid-year production date.

Elon Musk responded "um, we do expect production to start, I don't know, maybe sometime this summer. But I always like to try to downplay the start of production because the start of production is always very slow. It increases exponentially, but it's always very slow at first. So I wouldn't put too much thought in start of production."

Volume Production Next Year

If the millions of people with Cybertruck reservations were in attendance, you might have felt the air leave the room. The previous belief was mass production would start by the end of 2023. There may be some stainless-steel beauties on the road by then, but only a few. "It's kind of when does volume production actually happen, and that's next year," said Musk.

Perhaps sensing some disappointed buyers, Lars Moravy, Tesla's Vice President of Vehicle Engineering added, "(I'd) like just to emphasize on that, we've started installation of all the production equipment here in Giga Texas, castings, general assembly, body shops. We built all our beta vehicles, some more coming still in the next month, but as you said, the ramp will really come 2024."

The Cybertruck Will be Elon's Next Car

Cybertruck was originally announced in 2019 at the memorable event that included the unbreakable armor glass smashing. Musk was wearing the smashed glass Cybertruck t-shirt while taking questions from investors. While the wait continues, he is adamant that it will be worth it, "So it's an incredible product. I can't wait to drive it personally. It will be the car that I drive every day… it's just one of those products that only comes along once in a while, and it's really special."

The original release deadline was set for 2021. However, the production date has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, like a global pandemic. Nevertheless, it is a positive sign that beta vehicles have been produced. Images of what appears to be a Cybertruck were leaked a few months ago.

Recently, chief designer Franz von Holzhausen did confirm that the Cybertruck was ready for production, but it's a work in progress. Every Tesla beta product gets thoroughly examined and meticulously reviewed before the next step. But at least it's a step in the right direction.

A Look at Tesla's 2022 Numbers and Record Quarter

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla set new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations.
Tesla set new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations.
Statista

Tesla published their Q4 2022 and full-year financial results, setting new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations. Tesla’s annual profit rose to $12.6 billion in 2022, from $5.5 billion in 2021. Annual revenue rose to $81.5 billion, from $53.8 billion the year prior. Tesla reported fourth-quarter revenue of $24.32 billion beating analysts' $24.07 billion estimate. The automaker also reported earnings per share of $1.19 beating analysts' $1.12 estimate.

Tesla’s stock rose more than 5% in after-hours trading following the earnings release and surged more than 10% the next day.

Tesla's Q4 2022 revenue set a new record for the company, up 59% from a year earlier. In addition to automotive revenue of $21.3 billion, Tesla recognized $324 million of deferred revenue from the company’s driver assistance systems.

FSD Beta Numbers

Tesla reported that 90 million miles have now been driven with FSD Beta, up from 58 million miles in the previous quarter. The company also confirmed that they have about 400,000 FSD Beta users in North America, a sizeable increase since the last report. With such a steep increase in miles driven and FSD Beta becoming widely available in North America, Tesla is making significant progress with its autonomous driving software.

In late 2022 and into this year, Tesla began cutting prices on its cars globally. Elon spoke about how recent price cuts have fueled a surge in demand for Tesla: “Thus far in January we’ve seen the strongest orders year-to-date than ever in our history. We’re currently seeing orders of almost twice the rate of production.” He added: “These price changes really make a difference for the average consumer.” Tesla acknowledges that average sales prices have to decrease over time because affordability is part of Tesla's mission to grow into a company that sells multiple millions of cars annually.

Price cuts will impact profitability, but margins should remain healthy, Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn affirmed. Tesla has wider operating margins than the industry average, which allows them to make such price cuts.

Elon issued an uncertain forecast for 2023, saying Tesla planned on 1.8 million vehicles for the year without specifying whether that was a target for production or deliveries. If the company were to deliver 1.8 million vehicles in 2023, that would result in 37% annual growth.

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Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2023.2.10.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

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