Sonos lets staff go as focus turns to paid streaming and voice control

MacFarlane announced the news in a blog post, while also revealing that access to paid streaming services and voice control were the two key areas of immediate focus for Sonos.

Since Sonos was founded in 2002, there has been a transition away from users listening to personal music libraries, towards a focus on streaming services such as Spotify and Tidal. MacFarlane cites the launch of Apple Music and the addition of The Beatles discography to streaming services as key catalysts for the increase in paid music subscriptions.

As a result, Sonos has said it’s going to focus on “building incredibly rich experiences that were all but unimaginable when we started the company, and will be the vanguard of what it means to listen to music at home.”

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It’s not only paid music subscriptions that Sonos sees as important in the changing landscape of music consumption - voice control has also started to take hold. The company says it’s a fan of what Amazon has done with its Alexa voice assistant and the Echo speaker - and now Echo Dot and Amazon Tap - as it demonstrates just how powerful voice control can be around the home.

Sonos has said it is “taking the long view in how best to bring voice-enabled music experiences into the home” and that it will “invest what’s required to bring it to market in a wonderful way.”

There’s no further information on when and how the new experiences will be introduced, but it’s clear Sonos is making these staff cuts in an attempt to ensure it stays the market leader for multi-room audio systems and music consumption.

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Max is a staff writer for What Hi-Fi?'s sister site, TechRadar, in Australia. But being the wonderful English guy he is, he helps out with content across a number of Future sites, including What Hi-Fi?. It wouldn't be his first exposure to the world of all things hi-fi and home cinema, as his first role in technology journalism was with What Hi-Fi? in the UK. Clearly he pined to return after making the move to Australia and the team have welcomed him back with arms wide open.