HomeTech Takeaways: Sonos Still Doesn't Care

Dealer Base Can Keep Talking, But Sonos Isn't Listening...

Julie Jacobson published a piece on CEPro this week that had a lot of home technology pros smiling self righteously. The article cites a letter sent by a Mat Lindstedt, a gold-level Sonos dealer and owner of an integration company in San Jose, to Sonos' CEO John MacFarlane. In his letter, presumably sent before the recent shakeup at Sonos made its way into the headlines, Lindstedt offers his advice on how Sonos can "stay relevant". 

Amongst of smattering of more random and disjointed advice, Lindstedt instructs MacFarlane that "Amazon Echo is a huge game changer for the industry" and that "Sonos should be worried". Lindstedt adds that in his opinion "Sonos is big enough now to create their own streaming service". Prescient advice.

Lindstedt's letter clearly echoes Julie Jacobsen's sentiment that Sonos has rested on its laurels for too long, and that the company had better wake up to what home technology pros have been telling them all along. 

The Takeaway: 

Ignoring the argument about whether or not Sonos got lazy, I couldn't help but notice a lack of emphasis on the most important point to CE Pro readers. Sonos doesn't care how home technology pros feel. To think that Sonos concerns itself with the opinions of it's CEDIA dealer base is folly. That's been proven more times than I can count.  Nothing we've seen in the news recently indicates that this has changed.
If MacFarlane's original blog post had been intended to appease the CEDIA crowd it would have had a much different tone. It would have covered things like an open API, an outdoor model, AirPlay integration, and more robust surround sound options. Instead what we got was nothing more than vagaries about how streaming is the future (you don't say!), and how MacFarlane thinks Alexa has got it goin' on. 

The recent strategic shift at Sonos may be symptomatic of a flattening in sales. But don't assume the resulting pivot will have anything to do with what the CEDIA dealer base really wants. Clearly Sonos sees it as CEDIA's job to adapt to them, and not the other way around.

Read the entire CEPro Article here...

- Jason Griffing