Extremely Disappointed Canadian Customer - I've lost ALL of my free streaming services with Sono


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You would think that spending $1000 for a new Playbar would gain me MORE features than my current $99 bluetooth speaker and Android cellphone, but no. With my cheap system, I could stream Slacker Radio (free), Google Play Music (free, could search and play any radio or song ie not downloaded music), YouTube videos and songs, and Spotify.

Now after forking out $1000 I have LOST ALL OF MY STREAMING SERVICES. Seriously Sonos? How come Android has a deal to stream the free apps with Ads yet not with you? This is just absolutely ludicrous and will most likely be sending this speaker back. WTH. :@:?

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29 replies

You just bought a Playbar for $ 699,--, yet you complain about $ 10,--/Month?
Sonos has no input on what account status the services require to stream on Sonos. It is up to the service themselves. Some are free (Pandora, Slacker USA, TuneIn, iHeartRadio), some offer free components (Google Play Music, Amazon Prime) and some require a paid subscription (Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, Google Play Music All Access). Sonos has no financial relationship with the music services, and thus has no control over their requirements for use.

Bottom line is, music services cannot survive without a larger subscription base. Even with subscriptions, the largest of them, Spotify, has never turned a profit. So they need to push more and more users to paid accounts, and requiring a premium account for premium hardware like Sonos is one way of accomplishing that goal.
Pretty simple, you just need a ChromeCast, Roku, Amazon TV or Apple TV device, etc to have dozens of free selections, from Spotify to YouTube. All will play on your TV, with the PlayBar providing excellent sound.
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First of all, the Playbar in Canada is not $699. It's $900 plus tax so it's over $1000. Secondly, yes I'm complaining about $ amounts because I just invested a TONNE of money to this SYSTEM that gives me less than what I have now. As well, my 3 free subscriptions will not be $10 a month. It will be over $20 per month plus tax and that's $240 a year min. so yes, I am complaining about that. Why does Android/Google/Apple have a deal with these services, yet Sonos does not and there are SO many people complaining about it?

What also makes no sense is a friend of mine has the smaller SOnos speakers that I setup for her 2 year ago. She is able to use her free Slacker Radio service on hers, but I can't on mine because I'm adding the service now. Because she added it back when it used to work, it's fine for her.

Oh and another thing, if I was in the US of A I would be able to use Slacker Radio free in Sonos. It's not available to Canadian customers only so we pay more for the Sonos gear and lose all the services. Great.

As for having to stream to my TV first, that removes all the great features of Sonos where multiple people can play and pick music. I would have to disconnect my phone, have another person connect etc. I can do that now with my bluetooth speaker. Also, guess what happens when I get a text or a phone call or need to use something else? Notifications now go through the TV and depending on the app, Android shuts off the sound or resets the app when minimized. Watch a Sonos commercial and you'll see this is what they advertise as not needing to do this anymore.
First of all, the Playbar in Canada is not $699. It's $900 plus tax so it's over $1000. Secondly, yes I'm complaining about $ amounts because I just invested a SHIT TONNE of money to this SYSTEM that gives me less than what I have now. As well, my 3 free subscriptions will not be $10 a month. It will be over $20 per month plus tax and that's $240 a year min. so yes, I am complaining about that. Why does Android/Google/Apple have a deal with these services, yet Sonos does not and there are SO many people complaining about it? [...]
Google/Apple don't have a deal with the services, it's up to the services themselves to offer within their apps what they want to.
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There has to be a reason why Slacker Radio was working in Sonos for Canadians and now all of a sudden it doesn't work with Sonos only . Sounds to me like Sonos isn't doing squat about dissatisfied customers complaining about this issue all over other blogs to get the service working again. So why does it work for US customers and not Canadians?
For further reading on the topic:
http://www.thefader.com/2015/05/19/sony-spotify-contract
There has to be a reason why Slacker Radio was working in Sonos for Canadians and now all of a sudden it doesn't work with Sonos only . Sounds to me like Sonos isn't doing squat about dissatisfied customers complaining about this issue all over other blogs to get the service working again. So why does it work for US customers and not Canadians? Seems like a big F U to Canada.

Once again, for those in the cheap seats:

SONOS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS!!!!! THE TYPE OF SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED FOR USE ON SONOS IS UP TO THE MUSIC SERVICE, AND THE MUSIC SERVICE ONLY!!!

In the case of Slacker, the licensing and distribution laws in Canada are such that Slacker could no longer afford to offer a free subscription on a multi-room platform. The laws for multi-room platforms differ in the USA.

PS - Please refrain from using profanity on this site. It is against the TOS you agreed to when you signed up.
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Also just found out my Amazon Prime Music doesn't work in Canada. This is a PAID service. Yes this does have everything to do with Sonos....
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Here is the reply from Sonos: Amazon Prime Music is available to Canadian users via the Alexa function that was released recently. So basically, I can't play music with my paid service. I have to buy an Alexa unit and voice my requests instead of just browsing. That is insane.
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Literally 5 minutes later: "It's important to us that any new music service works flawlessly for our customers. Good things are in the works; while we don't have a specific date to share for Amazon Music Canada just yet, we'll make an announcement the same day it does become available. Stay Tuned."

This is the direct opposite of the first reply and sorry, Amazon Prime Music is not a NEW service.
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You like to hear yourself complain don't you. Research what you buy and understand why you buy the things you do. If you want a single room Bluetooth speaker by all means go ahead and get one.
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Research does show the app was supposed to work in Canada....Even on this community from Sonos says so.
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Do you have amazon music unlimited or just regular prime membership
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I have Prime which offers 2 million songs and is totlaly fone for me. The reason i was so disappointed about Slacker is that i hooked up my friend's sonos last year and her Slacker Free subscription works great so just assumed it would work for mine. It seems that because she activated it before Slacker decided to cut ties with Canada's free subscription, she can still use it on her system today, so this is why i wasn't aware it wouldn't work for mine. I was also told by sonos that it wasn't working because i didn't have my address setup on my profile, so assumed this would fix it. I do lots of research but unfortunately with sonos there are lots of incorrect information being reported so had to find out the hard way. I could buy an Alexa to get it to work but am not a fan of voicing requests (when music is playing loud how will Alexa even hear it).
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Yea only alexa itself will play the free prime music (well kinda free you do actually pay for prime).

Alexa will actually lower the volume on the speakers when you say Alexa. Its pretty cool - for like $30 for an echo dot I would try it out. Especially if Amazon Prime is your free music service then it does work really well. You can also type in the song you want in the Alexa app.

Wasn't aware slacker cut off access free in Canada.

Do you have android of iPhone. I'm thinking you have android from some of your comments. What Sonos devices do you have - I saw you had a playbar.
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I have an Android and the Playbar speaker. I really, really do not want to have to lower the music, talk into a box, just to get a song to play from various services. Amazon Prime Music on the Sonos app says it's only available in the US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan. I really do not understand why if I pay for this service that works in Canada, Sonos works in Canada, why the service can't work in the Sonos app. I also don't want a bunch people yelling into speaker to play a song when most people just want a "genre" or they don't know what they want to play so they BROWSE. We can't even browse Amazon Music in the app.
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You can browse amazon music (at least I can with unlimited) in the Alexa app itself.
I have an Android and the Playbar speaker. I really, really do not want to have to lower the music, talk into a box, just to get a song to play from various services. Amazon Prime Music on the Sonos app says it's only available in the US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan. I really do not understand why if I pay for this service that works in Canada, Sonos works in Canada, why the service can't work in the Sonos app. I also don't want a bunch people yelling into speaker to play a song when most people just want a "genre" or they don't know what they want to play so they BROWSE. We can't even browse Amazon Music in the app.

Licensing and distribution rights issues, specifically for multiple rooms as opposed to a singe device, are usually the reason for availability of services on Sonos in one country vs another.
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But Amazon Prime Music IS available in Canada and I don't have multiple rooms. You'd think it would be able to detect that in the app ie if more than 1 room, license issue in affect, but 1 room, no licensing issue.
But Amazon Prime Music IS available in Canada and I don't have multiple rooms. You'd think it would be able to detect that in the app ie if more than 1 room, license issue in affect, but 1 room, no licensing issue.

Just because you don't have multiple rooms means nothing. You own a system capable of playing to multiple rooms, and the licensing and distribution rights for multi-room systems are different than single use speakers in Canada, and this difference needs to be worked out before a service can play on Sonos. This is the very reason free Slacker accounts are not available on Sonos in Canada, but are available in the US. Canada requires different licensing for multi-room systems than the US does, and it costs Slacker much more for Sonos use in Canada than in the US.
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Understood so why isn't Amazon Prime Music, which is fully licensed and paid for in Canada, not available on Sonos? There is no licensing issues or multiple room problems. Sonos just decided not to support it in the app and only support Alexa.
Uhhh, you do know that Sonos has no control over what services are supported where, right? You should be asking these questions over at Amazon.
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Oh really they don't? Then why did they tell me this: "Hi , thanks for reaching out. Amazon Prime Music is available to Canadian users via the Alexa function that was released recently. We don't have any plans to share today on if the services will be releasing to Sonos without the Alexa function..." This was a decision SONOS made, not Amazon.
You just have to think about the economics of this to realise the choice lies with the music services. Not having free services is a downside for Sonos, as it is virtually cost-free for Sonos if they are carrying the paid version, and free services would be viewed by some potential customers as a positive feature. Sonos has no incentive to refuse free services.

But from the services' point of view, they want you to enjoy their free product... but not too much. The free service is just a means to getting a paying customer, because that is how the service survives. So they limit the availability of the free service. Typically you can play it with their app on a mobile device, say, but not through third party systems like Sonos and its competitors. It gives people an extra incentive to pay the tiny amounts required.

Amazon Prime is a bit of a halfway house, as (as I understand it) you aren't getting the full range of source material as on Unlimited. The more typical model is low bit-rate with ads version of the full range of tracks.

It is still perfectly possible that Amazon have not looked to put Prime onto Sonos in a particular region, and so Sonos have no plans to add it.