I will go out on a limb about #Sonos

by Volker Weber

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Today, the entire music ecosystem is in transition – ultimately for the better – and so is Sonos. We have a good idea of how this will evolve over time, and we’ve never been more bullish on what it means for music fans. But we also know that to continue to innovate and bring compelling new experiences to market, we need to invest heavily against the opportunity.

Sonos has this super-confusing blog post. Let me try to make sense of it:

The confusing part in the blog post is that (a) Sonos is laying off people and (b) investing against the new opportunity. The first part does not really fit the post and I see it as insurance against a backlash from disgruntled former employees. While I hope that none of my friends at Sonos are affected, the interesting question is why Sonos is singling out Amazon.

A few data points: PLAY:5 has microphones. CONTROL is deprecated because it does not have microphones. I was unable to get clear information about why Amazon Prime Music is not available in Germany. The only answer I got was that something is cooking.

If I would go out on a limb here, and I don't have any specific insights into Sonos' plans, then I would suggest that Sonos might be working with Amazon on adding voice input. Or, Sonos is working on Siri integration, since they seem to be best buds with Apple. Amazon is the safer bet, because that would also work with Android. Maybe, just maybe, Sonos is even working on their own.

But that's just me. If I had any hard information on their plans, I could not possibly have written that. However, I can put a timestamp on it: SxSW starts tomorrow.

Comments

I have a couple of Amazon echos, for me the speaker quality is good enough. I think Sonos probably singled out Amazon, because it wouldn't be too hard to turn these Echos into a cheaper version (more mainstream) of the Sonos.

I think they probably acknowledge Echos are selling like crazy, and Sonos like capabilities are the next obvious step for them, so I think they see the competition coming.

Carl Tyler, 2016-03-10 22:12

Very good observation, Carl!

Volker Weber, 2016-03-10 22:19

Look out For some interesting things in BOSE arena. They are doing some great things.

Palmi lord, 2016-03-10 22:51

They still don't sell the Echo in Europe yet right?

Carl Tyler, 2016-03-10 23:03

No, they don't. We also find it extremely creepy.

Volker Weber, 2016-03-10 23:12

I think the problem that any pure hardware player has is there is no ongoing monetization. Amazon has their own content, which is something that Sonos does not appear to have (I don't own any Sonos products, but I am intrigued by the PLAY5 quality...). It might be that they are going to announce some licensing deal with a content provider that will give them long term recurring revenue.

Sascha Siekmann, 2016-03-11 22:46

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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