HomeTech Takeaways: Sonos Shifts Gears

A blog post from Sonos CEO John MacFarlane got the tech world talking this week, and for once it wasn't all roses. The company, which has had a hugely successful run since practically inventing the category of wireless audio, apparently feels a need to shift gears. 

In his blog post MacFarlane discusses how the company is "doubling down on our long-held conviction that streaming music is the dominant form of consumption now and in the future...". The sub-heading of this blog post section places an (unsurprising) emphasis on paid streaming services. More on that below in the takeaway section...

Additionally MacFarlane goes on to discuss the company's belief in the importance of voice control moving forward, although he stops short of spelling out exactly what this means for Sonos. 

Perhaps most indicative of a substantial shift taking place at the company, the post also mentions an unspecified number of layoffs set to take place shortly.

The Takeaway: 

While MacFarlane doesn't spell it out, there can be little doubt that Sonos is eyeing the launch of its own paid streaming music service. It's hard to blame Sonos for growing discontent with one-time hardware sales, while watching services like Apple Music and Spotify rake in the monthly fees.

MacFarlane's section on voice control struck me as purposefully vague. While singing the praises of what Amazon has done with Alexa, he makes no specific mention of how a service from Sonos would compare. Will it leverage Alexa, compete with Alexa, or be something different entirely? Hard to say at this point, but definitely something I look forward to discussing on this week's podcast episode

On a slight side note, one couldn't be blamed for speculating that these moves are aimed at making Sonos a more appealing acquisition target. But of course, only time will tell...

Read VentureBeat's take on the story here...