After laying off some of its workforce, John Mcfarlane CEO of Sonos explained its vision in a blog post:
Now, this shift is irreversibly started, and everyone in the ecosystem is adjusting to a world of streaming services. The Beatles library, now available on all the streaming services, is a perfect example of how labels are leaning into streaming.
We’re fans of what Amazon has done with Alexa and the Echo product line. Voice recognition isn’t new; today it’s nearly ubiquitous with Siri, OK Google, and Cortana. But the Echo found a sweet spot in the home and will impact how we navigate music, weather, and many, many other things as developers bring new ideas and more content to the Alexa platform.
Clearly they are embracing streaming music more than ever. They probably have usage stats that show that most of the Sonos customers are using streaming if not exclusively. But the interesting tidbit is the voice control part of his post. He likes what Amazon has done with Alexa and we can guess he will do something similar.
Now Sonos has never been keen on using somebody else’s technology. Wi-Fi? No, they had their own protocol. AirPlay? No, not using that in our products. So integration with Alexa? Forget about it, Sonos has always prided itself on the experience and perfect integration of its software and hardware, just like a Fruit company we know. Perhaps a licensing deal of some voice recognition software, or, most probably, acquisition or hires to get their own tech off the ground.
I really am looking forward to an “Alex-type” speaker with the quality of sound put out by the Sonos speakers. But I also wish Sonos would integrate more with HomeKit and IFTTT… Maybe one day.