Spotify Connect, serious competition


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Spotify today announced Spotify Connect, which will be a series of hardware from well-known hardware to seamlessly integrate spotify onto devices where the control is from the regular Spotify application on your phone or similar.

Streaming is still done directly through internet, so the phone isn't in charge of it, just controls it.

I really do hope that Sonos will follow this approach as well, I believe there are a lot more like me that primarily uses Sonos for Spotify, and being able to use the same app as always would be awesome.

Seems like there is already a feature request over at ask.sonos.com https://ask.sonos.com/sonos/topics/support_spotify_connect_to_allow_users_to_use_the_spotify_app_as_the_controller

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Spotify today announced Spotify Connect, which will be a series of hardware from well-known hardware to seamlessly integrate spotify onto devices where the control is from the regular Spotify application on your phone or similar.

Streaming is still done directly through internet, so the phone isn't in charge of it, just controls it.

I really do hope that Sonos will follow this approach as well, I believe there are a lot more like me that primarily uses Sonos for Spotify, and being able to use the same app as always would be awesome.


Actually, I think it'll mean the opposite, have a look at: http://www.whathifi.com/news/spotify-connect-takes-aim-at-airplay-and-sonos

The quote from the Spotify exec is pretty cut and dried, no further development of Spotify on Sonos. Reading that I wouldn't even be surprised if Spotify pulls their service from Sonos completely, it may be a requirement of their license agreement with those hardware manufacturers (after all, if they're going to invest in this service they aren't going to want it being offered on other, non-licensed, hardware).

This is NOT a good thing, for the first time I'm actually worried about how this might affect Sonos' development.
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uh - oh - this is a serious worry.

I use Sonos almost exclusively with Spotify and was hoping for better integration of Spotify features such as Spotify Radio and starring tracks from within sonos. However this announcement probably kills those ideas stone dead.

in fact this quote is very bullish...
Pascal de Mul, global head of hardware partnerships at Spotify, told Techcrunch that there was "no plan to extend Connect to Sonos and no plan to continue to develop with Sonos"

gulp. I love Spotify and have built up quite some library of playlists etc and would hate to start over with another provider. can anyone match spotify for music range and the bitstream rate ?
can anyone match spotify for music range and the bitstream rate ?
MOG, but they're not in Europe yet.

Rdio is available in EU, but 'streams up to 320 kbps' and there seems to have been some doubt about what the actual rate is.
To me, this seems like a power play by someone. Evidently, SONOS users do not represent a significant percentage of the SPOTIFY user base or SPOTIFY expects to be able to harvest the SONOS users.

Personally, I consider all of the services to be more or less interchangeable. I'm more interested in the content and reliability than any single feature. If one service makes my life miserable, I'll fix that problem at the end of the billing cycle.

I also wonder if the listed more traditional manufacturers are feeling pinched by the ever expanding SONOS user base. Stuffing a SPOTIFY chip in a traditional product continues business as usual model for the old line manufacturers.

Another dimension to this is control of the user interface. Now that SPOTIFY has control, they can start pushing advertising or charge more to avoid it.
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WTF, way to go to if they leave Sonos behind on this. I don't even see what the fuzz is about licensing. Spotifys main income is subscribers, so as I see it it would be beneficial to be available on as many devices as possible. Instead they try to do a licensing deal and earn money on that, or what?

Will be interesting to see how this plays out...
These services are not quite so interchangeable in EU. There's a reduced number of them compared to the US, and in quality terms Spotify has been out in front.

Given the unending and understandable clamour there's been for additional Sonos/Spotify features (radio, apps, etc) and the problems in dealing with the proprietary interfaces -- never mind Spotify's preferred hybrid P2P scheme -- then maybe someone somewhere said this is all too hard and difficult anyway.
More here, with extended quote from the Spotify head of hardware partnerships.
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/sep/03/spotify-connect-rivals-apple-airplay
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"There are a couple of devices already out in the market that will support this through a firmware upgrade...."

Surely Sonos should be one of these but there is no mention of it and in fact quite the contrary 😞
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As a Spotify subscriber I find it sad if they choose to pull their services. I wouldn't be sad for long though, as I feel confident there will always be others who will offer similar or even better services. I wouldn't know if Wimp is available outside of Norway, but they have more or less the same catalogue as Spotify, at least when it comes to the music I prefer to listen to. Also, they are now introducing true CD quality sound. Nice knowing you, Spotify.
Can anyone comment on the current Deezer Premium+ service? I haven't tried it in a couple of years.
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Techcrunch updated their article:

Update: Spotify says the quote is taken out of context, in that it cannot share future plans, not that it doesn’t have any at all. “We will continue to support and improve the Spotify experience on Sonos,” a spokesperson noted, once again not confirming any timescale or specifics.

http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/02/spotify-makes-its-biggest-hardware-play-yet-with-spotify-connect-synching-music-at-home-and-beyond/

I was already skeptical of that quote - not sure why Spotify would want to alienate Sonos users. They don't want to lose anyone and they can't afford to.

I'm not all doom and gloom on this yet, but it sure makes me think twice now about getting another Sonos speaker.

I really hope that Sonos is direct with their customers about whether or not they would allow this to be built-into the system. I'm not sure they are going to want to though, because they want you to use the Sonos controller.

Who knows... we need to let this play out.
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Techcrunch updated their article:

http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/02/spotify-makes-its-biggest-hardware-play-yet-with-spotify-connect-synching-music-at-home-and-beyond/

I was already skeptical of that quote - not sure why Spotify would want to alienate Sonos users. They don't want to lose anyone and they can't afford to.

I'm not all doom and gloom on this yet, but it sure makes me think twice now about getting another Sonos speaker.

I really hope that Sonos is direct with their customers about whether or not they would allow this to be built-into the system. I'm not sure they are going to want to though, because they want you to use the Sonos controller.


Why do you think Sonos would have any say in the matter? This is Spotify driving this, not Sonos.

THIS is exactly the reaction I was afraid of, Spotify make a decision and people blame Sonos for it and go elsewhere.

There are plenty of other music services you could choose, there's nothing as good as Sonos, the logic of this kind of reaction defies belief.
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I agree that Sonos doesn't have any say - they completely rely on whatever the API allows access to. I'm definitely not blaming Sonos for this, it is all on Spotify and I completely understand that.

This move in general by Spotify makes me worried that they aren't going to spend the time to expand Radio, Collection (still upcoming...), to the API and just use Spotify Connect.

Either way, who knows what is going to happen really, certainly puts everyone in an interesting situation.
Personally, I consider all of the services to be more or less interchangeable. I'm more interested in the content and reliability than any single feature. If one service makes my life miserable, I'll fix that problem at the end of the billing cycle.



I too am of the opinion that services are basically interchangeble. However, it seems that more and more users are becoming fans of a service (or that service's UI) than they are of the hardware. I'm sure Sonos has more marketing info than I, but it is a trend I see happening where someone becomes married to a UI, or a service, or a function (Spotify radio) with the fervor of an Apple fan, and then hardware becomes secondary. There are enough quotes like "I should have bought a Bluetooth speaker so I could play through my app!!" that Sonos should be a little concerned.
I don't think that SPOTIFY will suddenly dump all SONOS users, but there will not be any new developments.

And, anyone who wants to use the SPOTIFY integration on the announced platforms must purchase a new receiver. Further, unless this deal was done months ago, users must wait at least months for the next design refresh cycle to complete. In my observation users are not so keen on replacing their audio equipment in order to accommodate the feature of the week. Therefore this new order will require years to play out.

Given my experience with the traditional manufacturers user interface, this development will introduce yet another layer of remote control. You'll have the traditional "black remote", 3rd party universal remotes, vendor specific "apps" for smart phones and pads, and now, music service apps -- and this is only for the audio. It is no wonder why there is a developing class of "no technology for me" users.
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I don't find them interchangeable at all. Spotify has the best streaming infrastructure, best selection and quality out of any of the services like it (I've tried all of the "big" ones, except Rhapsody).

I've invested a lot of time making playlists on Spotify as well.

But yes, I agree that there's no way Spotify will just totally throw Sonos out.

At least de Mul is now saying this on Twitter:
@chrigu No this is not correct. We will continue to develop and even expand that relationship. We are trying to get this rectified.
I don't find them interchangeable at all. Spotify has the best streaming infrastructure, best selection and quality out of any of the services like it (I've tried all of the "big" ones, except Rhapsody).

I've invested a lot of time making playlists on Spotify as well.

But yes, I agree that there's no way Spotify will just totally throw Sonos out.

At least de Mul is now saying this on Twitter:


Sounds to me like de Mul was going scorched earth in support of his new tech baby and got spanked by the lawyers/suits. In my experience, this type of backtracking usually means that the first statement was much closer to the truth than the subsequent waffling.
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if they do a 'chromecast' equivalent dongle I can feed it into my playbar and thus the rest of the sonos gear. or a standalone unit with optical output (like sonos connect). the ideal of course would be to allow sonos speakers to be controlled within the Spotify app but this is now even less of a possibility than before.
if they do a 'chromecast' equivalent dongle I can feed it into my playbar and thus the rest of the sonos gear. or a standalone unit with optical output (like sonos connect). the ideal of course would be to allow sonos speakers to be controlled within the Spotify app but this is now even less of a possibility than before.
A Chromecast-like device would make sense for Spotify, to allow existing HiFi kit to be 'Spotify Connect enabled'. Their hardware partners on the other hand would want to see 'Spotify Connect inside' to help them sell upgrades...
http://gizmodo.com/spotify-connect-sonos-like-powers-that-bend-to-your-bu-1228510223

In theory, you don't even need to buy any of the hardware—just buy an iPod Touch, plug it into the gear you've already got , and use your phone as a remote. (Speaking of which, one thing that's noticeably missing is a product like the Sonos Connect: A little Spotify Wi-Fi base-station that lets you convert your existing stereo into a cloud-powered sound system.)
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mmm - interesting. I could steal one of the kids ipod touches and plug it into a play 5 (along with ipod charger!) but its a shame the content would then be digital to analog in the ipod then back to digital again in the sonos components.

would be better if there was an all digital version.
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FIY the TechCrunch article has been updated: Update: Spotify says the quote is taken out of context, in that it cannot share future plans, not that it doesn’t have any at all. “We will continue to support and improve the Spotify experience on Sonos,” a spokesperson noted, once again not confirming any timescale or specifics.

So hopefully we are not doomed yet...:)
FIY the TechCrunch article has been updated:

So hopefully we are not doomed yet...:)


Standard CYA statement by the brass. I imagine the actual internal stance is closer to the head of hardware partnerships' scorched earth statement. The history between Sonos and Spotify has always appeared strained, and this launch of their own semi-competitive product explains a lot about that strain.

And if anyone truly wishes to let Spotify know what they feel about these plans, cancel your sub immediately. That is the only thing that will send a message. Internet griping does nothing, because wasting time griping means you will put up with anything as long as you can vent. Cutting out their revenue stream means something, carping about it does not.
The only reason to cut off one's subscription at this stage is if there's something better on Sonos. As a good quality streaming replacement for CD purchases Spotify on Sonos still fits the bill in its current form. The absence of music discovery apps is a pain, but there are alternatives.

In the EU 320k streaming services are few and far between. I started a fresh Deezer trial today but already ran into issues.
Maybe I'm misreading those comments, but I think 'scorched earth' might be a bit strong. He never said "we're getting off Sonos as soon as we can; they can kiss my...", just that they won't invest further development time in the platform. It'll still work, it just won't get any better. Everyone waiting on the radio feature is probably SOL, for example.

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