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News March 13, 2016

Sonos has new focus on streaming, voice recognition

Sonos has new focus on streaming, voice recognition

The global multi-room speaker systems company Sonos, which has an office in Australia, has announced a new focus on streaming and voice recognition.

CEO John Macfarlane said the company is adapting and investing in the new music business, and that Sonos products will indicate how it has “a good idea of how this will evolve over time.”

Some if its work force will be laid off during the transition but he did not indicate how many will leave.

“The short term – and very difficult – consequence of this decision is we’ve had to make some changes to our team. We do this with a heavy heart, as we are in the process of letting go of some Sonos employees who have played important roles getting us to this point.”

Macfarlane’s vision, posted on a blog on the home audio manufacturer’s website, is that the fast growing streaming sector is eventually going to be so dominant, that the entire music industry is going to change around it.

One of the major changes of streaming, he says, is that “listeners will grow increasingly dissatisfied with the solutions they’ve cobbled together for listening at home. Now that music fans can finally play anything anywhere, we’re going to focus on building incredibly rich experiences that were all but unimaginable when we started the company, and will be at the vanguard of what it means to listen to music at home.”

So aside from speakers what can stream music, voice recognition will also play a role in home audio. Macfarlane reveals a strong admiration for “what Amazon has done with the Alexa and the Echo product line. Voice is a big change for us, so we’ll invest what’s required to bring it to market in a wonderful way.”

Some observers say that, given Sonos’ recent support partnership with Apple Music, one way to go would be to license Siri and become an Apple HomeKit smart home partner.


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