Support Spotify Connect to allow users to use the Spotify app as the controller.
Spotify Connect was just announced and I was surprised that I didn't see Sonos in the list of companies that would provide support. Many Spotify users have been asking for a long time to be able to use the Spotify app as the controller for selecting songs, as it provides a superior experience (you still can't even see the Top 5 songs in the Spotify view within the Sonos app, and it is difficult to look through an artist's collection to find a specific song unless you know which album it was in). Please support spotify connect. Additional details on Spotify Connect are here: http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/3/4688166/spotify-connect-launches-to-stream-music-to-compatible-speakers If you look at the post on theverge, even the first comment was one asking for Sonos support for the feature.
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Get no official reply? Complain about no official reply. Get official reply? Complain about the reply itself. No wonder they don't say much about anything. *rolleyes*
People have been forecasting the death of Sonos for years, citing everything from Squeezebox, to Linksys, to Yamaha, to Airplay, to "lack of support for service XYZ" as the death knell. Yet Sonos is still going, and outpacing it's own sales every year. Methinks the obituary is a bit premature.
Before having an official reply like this I prefer no reply. It's better to invest time to find a sufficient answer rather than keeping people posted with ready-made, meaningless text blocks. So it's about the quality of service, we're at a forum called "ask sonos" and most of us paid a lot of money for those devices. So service should be as premium as pricing. Consumers shouldn't accept less than that.
Sonos is a premium brand. When a USP of a brand gets lost over night you either rebuild or reposition your brand or you get killed by competition. Its important for consumers to express their feelings towards those things so Sonos can understand and set right priorities. It would be worse not to raise those points.
Sonos has dozens of service providers. Not supporting one single provider hasn't hurt them in the case of Google Music and/or iTunes iCloud, and their memberships dwarf that of Spotify. I'm sure Sonos has a contignency plan. Either way, there's nothing they can do about it, so shouldn't you be lobbying over at Spotify?
And an equal number of people complain about a lack of any reply, and beg "Just give us an idea that you are looking into it!!!", which is what they have done. Besides, we all know that nothing short of total access to insider information which would violate SEC rules is going to satisfy any of the complainers here. Sonos is truly damned if they do and damned if they don't. And by the way, for a official reply with some meat, see the announcement of "Not Planned" status on Spotify Radio. Even a blind man can read between those lines.
Thank you for pointing that out, Jgatie I think this announcement says it all... sadly.
It seems to me that Spotify is at a crossroads in regards to Sonos support. If one is keen on keeping Sonos hardware and wishes to send a message to Spotify, the only message any corporation listens to is a loss of revenue. Cancelling a subscrition with "Abandoned the Sonos platform" given as a reason is the most effective step one can take. Posting here with continuous complaints to Sonos does nothing.
Everything I've read about Spotify Connect says it allows you to switch from component to component, but no grouping of components.
Jgatie: Sonos provides support for the Spotify platform. The Spotify platform now includes Spotify Connect, so why shouldn't the hardware I've purchased continue to work with that platform? That Sonos also has a controller app and it's own goals for unifying a variety of music services is irrelevant to me, I bought _hardware_ that supports the Spotify platform. It's great that they continue to work on the Sonos app, but they also need to recognize that they ran ads for months on Spotify assuring users that the best way to enjoy the Spotify platform was through Sonos hardware.
Thanks for the response. I think we all understand very well where you're coming from. We'd like you to understand that we purchased hardware you advertised _on Spotify_ as the best way to enjoy the Spotify platform. That platform now includes Spotify Connect, and if you can announce a technical reason as to why you can't support Connect, then the ball is understandably back in Spotify's court. You need to be able to separate your app and music unification aspirations from the support you promised for the Spotify platform. Even if the Sonos app wasn't causing significant customer pain (was nearly as easy to use as the Spotify app), I would still expect to see the Sonos speakers receive an update that enabled them to work with Spotify Connect. It's just a matter of supporting the changing Spotify platform, and recognizing what is best for your users.
"Sonos provides support for the Spotify platform" Actually, they both cooperate on support. It is a two way street. "The Spotify platform now includes Spotify Connect, so why shouldn't the hardware I've purchased continue to work with that platform" Because the Spotify Connect business plan is in direct competition to Sonos, and the decision to allow that "platform" to "continue to work" with Sonos lies solely with Spotify. If Spotify decides to cut off Sonos tomorrow, there is nothing Sonos can do about it. Nothing. This isn't Sonos abandoning Spotify, it is Spotify abandoning Sonos. The director of partnerships basically admitted this fact, before he was hushed by the suits. Why that is so hard to understand, I don;'t know.
Jgatie: As a customer the business plans of Spotify and Sonos are irrelevant to me. I bought hardware that supported the Spotify platform, so support the platform. Do the right thing for your customers. They're in the position to sell additional hardware by being a Spotify Connect vendor (not so much direct competition?), the unifying abilities of the Sonos controller app don't make much sense when you're subscribing to an all-you-can-eat music service. And when I do want integration with those other services, great, the Sonos app is there for me. It's a value add, not the primary feature for the purchase, that would be the audio hardware. "This isn't Sonos abandoning Spotify, it is Spotify abandoning Sonos." Even if Spotify is the reason for the gimped functionality of the Sonos app, now there is an opportunity to provide a better experience with your hardware, encouraging me to go out and buy additional Sonos hardware like the soundbar, or additional Play3 / Play5s. Honestly, it seems like Sonos is much more threatened by avoiding Spotify Connect, as it pairs great software with stronger brand names in the audio business. Sonos previously was very attractive as it offered a decent quality audio system at entry level prices that just worked. Now, everyone else has the opportunity to 'just work' by integrating with Spotify connect, and so long as they're willing to compete with similar prices (and the Spotify Connect announcement seemed to indicate they are), I think Sonos will be a tough sell over other brands, and poor support for Spotify won't help.
And if, as has been reported, Spotify Connect requires certain hardware to be on the components in order to operate, what then? Spotify has stated there "are a couple of devices already out in the market that will support this through a firmware upgrade." This says to me that the Spotify Connect "licensing" is similar to Apple Airplay, in that it requires a chip in order to work. This is the method in which a provider locks in certain vendors, and locks out others. Without the license (and the chip), you can't use the service. Given this, what is Sonos supposed to do about: 1) Existing hardware which has no chip? 2) Any future hardware, if Spotify denies them the license due to exclusive contracts with other vendors? See, it is not a simple answer that "now there is an opportunity to provide a better experience with your hardware, encouraging me to go out and buy additional Sonos hardware like the soundbar, or additional Play3 / Play5s." That is naive. In reality (if we take Pascal de Mul's initial statements as truth), it seems Spotify would rather compete with Sonos than actually work with Sonos. And as to Sonos being threatened by Spotify Connect, that was said about Squeezebox, Linksys, Yamaha, Sony, Apple's Airplay, Nexus Q and a dozen more systems and/or services offered. I personally feel some people may abandon Sonos for Spotify Connect, but just as many, if not more, will abandon Spotify in order to keep Sonos. Especially if the Spotify Connect system has the same "glorified Bluetooth speaker" functionality that Airplay has.
Actually, Spotify Connect is a little bit different from that. From the specs I've seen, it is a little more like Sonos in that the actual component does the streaming, the phone/tablet is just a controller. You can also start streaming on the phone/tablet and then "pass off" the stream to a licensed component. However, it does not allow you to group components (no "Party Mode" synching) and it lacks the relibility and redundancy of the Sonos mesh. So it seems you get the same "glorified Bluetooth" functionality, without the battery drain on your phone/tablet. It also lacks a local library, access to other services, etc. that Sonos has. Unless the partner manufacturers are also Airplay licensed, it is truly a one-trick pony. Great for Spotify-only users, but those who are used to the full Sonos experience may be greatly disappointed.
Spotify Connect is more Sonos then Airplay. The big difference between those services is that Airplay streams the music directly from the phone where else Sonos streams from the little box that is linked to the router. In my eyes this is the better solution which is why I chose Sonos. But hardware is only one side of the product, the other one is the Software (User Interface). Regarding that point Sonos is way behind Spotify or other Music player Software. So in conclusion: Either they redesign their UI or integrate Spotify Connect (I think that would be technical possible) or I am selling my Sonos and switch to Spotify. Multiroom is not important for me so far and is only a matter of time before Spotify supports that.
Streaming from the "little box" is the only thing Spotify Connect has in common with Sonos. What it lacks is quite important to the Sonos experience: A robust, redundant, and isolated wireless mesh architecture, and perfect syncing between devices. The mesh architecture is the reason Sonos is so reliable while all other streaming devices are susceptible to dropouts depending on how much usage is occuring on your WiFi LAN. Dropouts is the number one complaint of Airplay, and switching it from the phone to the device does not eliminate this. As long as one is reliant on the spoke architecture of your standard WiFI, reliability is in question. The second, perfect synching, only applies to those who use multi-room, but once you have experienced it, it is tough going back. As to Spotify Connect supporting it in the future, Airplay has the world's largest company behind it and they have not been able to mimic Sonos' sync in 3+ years (actually, in 9+ years, because Airtunes was launched in 2004). I laugh at Spotify being able to do it, especially across wildly differing partner platforms. Simply adding a Spotify chip does nothing to ensure your Denon receiver is going to be in perfect sync with your B&O speakers or your Yamaha soundbar. It would take a heck of a lot more cooperation between competing companies to achieve that (which is why the very limited sync on Airplay is so spotty). So admittedly, the Spotify UI is lacking, and that is important to you, so you should sell your gear. But for those of us who prefer reliability and multi-room over extended UI functions, the choice is just as easy (and a heck of a lot less expensive 😉 ) to keep our Sonos gear and find another service provider.