Anyone else cheesed off at Sonos & Eno restricting his Lighthouse project to HD only?

  • 1 September 2021
  • 22 replies
  • 218 views

I am wholly disgruntled at Sonos partnering with Brian Eno and making his Lighthouse station only available in HD. It is both thoughtless and greedy in my view (by both parties). How many fans of Brian Eno are able to afford new Sonos 2 equipment, further paying a monthly subscription to listen to his music? Do they expect those of us who have lots of Sonos 1 equipment to simply pay a fortune to upgrade? And what about those who cannot afford Sonos equipment in the first place?

Sonos should insist on providing alternate listening options for use with any equipment in SD. 

Shame on Sonos and Eno alike.

I don’t object to paying for music but I really am disgusted at the ivory tower mentality of this project (not to speak of the very deep pockets required to participate).

Sonos previously had an unblemished record in my book and I have persuaded many people to purchase at least one speaker, sometimes more.

I won’t be doing so after this disgraceful act.


22 replies

Who’s Brian Eno?

I’d assume, since it’s on Sonos HD radio, that Eno wants it to be in HD, and it would have been his choice not to have it available in standard def. 

I suppose the other side of the coin is he wanted to be paid for his work, and making it “free” wouldn’t achieve that goal.

As to those who can’t “afford Sonos”, they’d have the same difficulty not being able to “afford” a receiver and CD player if that was the release method, or a monthly subscription to a streaming service, much less a phone to play it on, if that’s how he wanted to release his work.

Technology moves on. You can’t expect a ‘386 to continue to run with Windows 10’s version of Microsoft office. There’s got to be some sort of upgrade. Sonos doesn’t make old style speakers, they make network connected computers/speakers. With all the associated issues around that, which has been hashed over in many, many, many threads already. 

I’m sorry you’re so unhappy about this. It must be quite frustrating. 

Who’s Brian Eno?

 

He’s the guy who got kicked out of Roxy Music.

I suppose the other side of the coin is he wanted to be paid for his work, and making it “free” wouldn’t achieve that goal.

 

It could have possibly been ad supported, but I personally have no idea how that would effect Mr. Eno’s paycheck.   I get why someone would want a company to provide products and services for cheap or free, but it’s ultimately about the company making a profit and staying in business.  In some ways, the big companies who offer free/cheap services in order to win customer loyalty and gain revenue through other services, has someone made reasonable customer expectations a little cloudy.

I am little surprised though that Sonos has not started offering Sonos radio (HD and/or free) in app form to play on non Sonos devices.  Seems like the incremental support and development (and servers) would be well worth the additional revenue, and help advertise the Sonos brand.  Don’t know if that phase is still planned, or I’m missing some details.

I suppose the other side of the coin is he wanted to be paid for his work, and making it “free” wouldn’t achieve that goal.

[snip]

I’m sorry you’re so unhappy about this. It must be quite frustrating. 

I wasn’t objecting to paying for the music. On the contrary I still buy physical media and well as digital music online and in store as well as subscribing to music streaming services.

I simply wanted the music to be accessible and I know not everyone can afford the £7.99pm to listen to it. Making it HD only is something of con in my view and just makes for exclusivity. We had all that with Neil Young and Dave Grohl but there music is still available in many formats and hi/lo-fi editions.

Most people simply do not have the ears/brain for HD over SD (mine included). Similar my eyes have difficulty seeing the difference between SD and HD TV but I do have a choice on which to pay for.

That’s all. Nice to have a debate though.

 

Oh, I certainly understand your position, was just offering up potential reasons why Eno and Sonos went a different way than what you (and I) wanted. Unfortunately, in this world, the desire to make money often ends up supreme.

Oh, I certainly understand your position, was just offering up potential reasons why Eno and Sonos went a different way than what you (and I) wanted. Unfortunately, in this world, the desire to make money often ends up supreme.

Surely it’s not unreasonable for an artist to try and maximise their income, is it?

Someone like Eno can’t have many fans, so is likely to get very few streams, I’d have thought.

No it is not unreasonable, in my opinion. Either for the artist, or for Sonos. Which is why I mentioned all of the various potential reasons. Just because I want something doesn’t mean that it’s supposed to be that way, that would be fairly selfish. And if you note the OP’s post directly before mine, you’d see that they feel the same way. They appeared to want an open discussion, which hopefully I provided some insight to. 

No it is not unreasonable, in my opinion.

My apologies - I was confused by your “Unfortunately, in this world, the desire to make money often ends up supreme.”, which I read as  disapproval...

Oh, no, just a statement of perceived fact. I, too, prefer to be paid for my efforts in some way. Often monetarily, but in the case of this forum, personal satisfaction that often I’m able to help others. Which is still a form of payment to me. 

@amun said

“Surely it’s not unreasonable for an artist to try and maximise their income, is it?”

and indeed it is not, which is why I am still perplexed by the decision to restrict the music to a single channel which most of the world’s music loving population will not be able to access.

That is unless of course they fork out money for SONOS 2 equipment before then paying for the music subscription.

In spite of my frustration at not being able to get to hear Eno’s Lighthouse, I chose not to throw my toys out of the pram and invested in a set of his Oblique Strategies cards, even though the PDF is (legally) freely available on the internet.

I will be sending an email to Eno one way or another (i.e. there might be layers to pass through in order to actually get to him) and I am hoping for a response. I’ll keep you posted.

@amun said

“Surely it’s not unreasonable for an artist to try and maximise their income, is it?”

and indeed it is not, which is why I am still perplexed by the decision to restrict the music to a single channel which most of the world’s music loving population will not be able to access.

 

You’re assuming that Mr. Eno’s paycheck is dependent on the volume of people who listen to this channel.  It’s entirely possible that Sonos is paying him a flat fee for HD, or a higher rate on the HD channel vs add driven channel.  That’s entirely possible if Sonos is using the channel as a means of providing exclusive content to encourage people to sign up for HD.  It may also be that the channel is only exclusive for a period of time, and will be available to all.  Not sure, but seems as reasonable for Sonos and Eno to produce content that is limited and 

 

That is unless of course they fork out money for SONOS 2 equipment before then paying for the music subscription.

 

I believe the majority of Sonos customers are on S2 already.  Of those that are not, I doubt that there is a strong interest in Sonos Radio subscription.

 

In spite of my frustration at not being able to get to hear Eno’s Lighthouse, I chose not to throw my toys out of the pram and invested in a set of his Oblique Strategies cards, even though the PDF is (legally) freely available on the internet.

I will be sending an email to Eno one way or another (i.e. there might be layers to pass through in order to actually get to him) and I am hoping for a response. I’ll keep you posted.

 

While you’re at it, send emails to  Apple, Amazon, Disney, Hulu, Netflix, HBO, and any of the many companies that provide content that can only be heard or watched via a subscription service or by buying content, rather than ad-based free service.

Maybe Mr. Eno will make his work ‘free to all’ later on down the line, after he has received payment for his artistic effort. It might be those who want it for free will have to wait a while for it, perhaps🤔?

This debate is becoming quite interesting. I wonder how this might be substantiated:

“I believe the majority of Sonos customers are on S2 already”

 

This debate is becoming quite interesting. I wonder how this might be substantiated:

“I believe the majority of Sonos customers are on S2 already”

 

 

Not a hard conclusion to draw. With very rare exceptions, only people who purchased legacy devices many years ago would be S1 (I don’t recall the exact cutoff date), and only those who have not taken the discount options to upgrade to S2. All new Sonos products are S2 only.  The number of people on S1 will always decrease while S2 will increase.  That’s not even mentioning the fact that Sonos would be completely killing their business if they setup a program where over 50% of existing customers would no longer be able generate any revenue for Sonos whatsoever.  The fact that Sonos sales have only increased since the S1/S2 split reinforces that they are still able to generate revenue quite well

No, I don’t have any actual numbers, but it seems extremely likely to that the majority of Sonos customers are on S2.  I’d actually guess that less than 5% are on S1, so 50% seems like a really comfortable number.

This debate is becoming quite interesting. I wonder how this might be substantiated:

“I believe the majority of Sonos customers are on S2 already”

 

 

Via growth of the company.  The vast majority of Sonos’ sales came in the last decade, and that decade is dominated by S2 devices (the only S1 devices sold in the 10’s were discontinued in 2015). 

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S1 vs S2

 

That data is from use of your app? I would expect, if so, for it to be slightly skewed towards S1 folks, just due to the nature of the need for your app….but likely not more than a point or two. 

I don’t have the desire or need to go look, but I wonder if some of the shareholder discussions given yearly have some of that data, which would be directional, not current.

 

Ok the sales data would be a good indicator of S1 vs S2 ownership.

My own system comprises 4xPlay1, 2xPlay5, 1xSub, !xSoundbar (large), 1xSoundbar (smaller), so I guess that represents over £3K in hardware. I first setup SONOS in a hotel (which is how I came to realise the products were so amazing) with 5xPlay3 and a couple of bridges.

That equipment is all in great working condition, which still makes it difficult if not impossible to consider changing to S2.

I’ll live in hope that the Lighthouse project eventually has another outlet.

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That data is from use of your app? I would expect, if so, for it to be slightly skewed towards S1 folks, just due to the nature of the need for your app….but likely not more than a point or two. 

 

This data is from my iOS app, which does not have any reason to tend one way or another. My Windows app lacks the telemetry to deliver this particular statistic.

That data is from use of your app? I would expect, if so, for it to be slightly skewed towards S1 folks, just due to the nature of the need for your app….but likely not more than a point or two. 

I don’t have the desire or need to go look, but I wonder if some of the shareholder discussions given yearly have some of that data, which would be directional, not current.

 

 

I would expect it to be skewed a lot more than few points.   

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