Sonos forced to lay-off staff and refocus business model
The times they are a-changin’
Sonos has announced that the Company has been forced to release some of its employees as they reevaluate their position in the market.
As most will know, Sonos were at the forefront of the multi-room music streaming speaker market but, as users move from listening to their own locally stored content to online streaming services, so has the competition increased.
In the last couple of years, alone, the likes of Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Sony have all launched their own competing systems with all their marketing might behind them. We’ve also seen the likes of Denon’s HEOS and Yamaha’s MusicCast systems redefine what a multi-room audio system can provide so, while it came as a slight surprise to learn that Sonos where facing difficulties, ultimately their market share must have eroded.
It’s not the end for Sonos, however, a post on the Company Blog outlines their vision for the future. Sonos says they have a good idea of how the music eco-system will evolve, over time, and heavy investment is required to drive the company in that direction.
Sonos is now leaning toward two major areas in the industry: paid streaming services and voice control. In terms of streaming services which, lest we forget, Sonos pioneered the integration of into streaming speakers, the plans are somewhat vague; they seem to be plotting a whole new approach in collating, and possibly curating, the big names - Apple Music, Rhapsody, Napster, Spotify, Google Play Music etc. – in to a refined solution for listening at home but we’ll have to wait for more concrete news on that.
The ideas for moving in to voice control seem a little more defined with Sonos CEO, John MacFarlane not shy in lavishing praise on Amazon’s voice controlled speaker, Echo, and its accompanying voice assistant, Alexa. We could probably take an educated guess that Sonos is working on some form of competitor to the Echo, at least, but, presumably, with some Sonos twist applied. Of course, we’re only speculating here, but if they are about to go head-to-head with Amazon they are going to need to come up with something special!
What is very clear is that there will be plenty more interesting news coming from Sonos, in the near future, so we’ll be sure to keep you posted.