Question

How come Pandora Plus DOES NOT WORK with Sonos speakers, when Sonos support says it does?


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I have been using the free version of Pandora with my Sonos speakers for the past 4-5 years, and last week I upgraded to Pandora Plus so I could get higher audio quality, unlimited skips, and no more ads.

I've been using what I thought was Pandora Plus for the past week now, but didn't noticed much difference in audio quality. When I tried to skip through several songs, I was stopped at six skips and received the "skip limit reached" message. Further to that, I still receive ads.

I thought Pandora Plus worked with Sonos? I'm currently using three first gen PLAY:5 speakers, and one second gen PLAY:5 speaker.

When I contacted Sonos support to inquire about the issue, this is the response I received:

Thank you for contacting Sonos Customer Care.

I understand you're having an issue with Pandora Plus and Sonos. I would be more than happy to help you with this today!

With Pandora Plus you do get more features than the free version including the improved sound quality, but you actually don't get truly unlimited skips. Due to licensing restrictions not every song can be skipped with Pandora Plus. Sonos only mirrors what is happening in the native Pandora app so we don't have any controller over the amount of songs you can skip.


The response I received from Sonos support contradicts what it says on the page below:
https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/64

If you’d like to upgrade from your current free ad-supported account to a Pandora Plus account, just visit pandora.com/upgrade. After you’ve upgraded, you’ll no longer hear ads while listening to Pandora on your Sonos. Pandora Plus streams music at a higher bitrate of 192kbps.


When I posted a follow-up question to the response I received from Sonos support, they simply closed my incident without informing me.
https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/account/questions/detail/i_id/3023139

I've shelled out $2K+ on Sonos devices, and I don't appreciate getting shitty support like that. Has anyone else noticed this issue? Is there a way to get Pandora Plus to work?

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41 replies

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I have been using the free version of Pandora with my Sonos speakers for the past 4-5 years, and last week I upgraded to Pandora Plus so I could get higher audio quality, unlimited skips, and no more ads.

I've been using what I thought was Pandora Plus for the past week now, but didn't noticed much difference in audio quality. When I tried to skip through several songs, I was stopped at six skips and received the "skip limit reached" message. Further to that, I still receive ads.

I thought Pandora Plus worked with Sonos? I'm currently using three first gen PLAY:5 speakers, and one second gen PLAY:5 speaker.

When I contacted Sonos support to inquire about the issue, this is the response I received:

Thank you for contacting Sonos Customer Care.

I understand you're having an issue with Pandora Plus and Sonos. I would be more than happy to help you with this today!

With Pandora Plus you do get more features than the free version including the improved sound quality, but you actually don't get truly unlimited skips. Due to licensing restrictions not every song can be skipped with Pandora Plus. Sonos only mirrors what is happening in the native Pandora app so we don't have any controller over the amount of songs you can skip.


The response I received from Sonos support contradicts what it says on the page below:
https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/64

If you’d like to upgrade from your current free ad-supported account to a Pandora Plus account, just visit pandora.com/upgrade. After you’ve upgraded, you’ll no longer hear ads while listening to Pandora on your Sonos. Pandora Plus streams music at a higher bitrate of 192kbps.


When I posted a follow-up question to the response I received from Sonos support, they simply closed my incident without informing me.
https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/account/questions/detail/i_id/3023139

I've shelled out $2K+ on Sonos devices, and I don't appreciate getting shitty support like that. Has anyone else noticed this issue? Is there a way to get Pandora Plus to work?


It's 2018 and I'm still complaining about this issue. I finally just gave up.
Thanks, Ryan. Please put my vote in for that functionality. Thank you!
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Hi dhy4b, at this time paid Pandora on Sonos doesn't include the unlimited skips. You do get the increased quality streams though. We're working with them on a lot of improvements but I don't have any specifics or details on that I can share right now.
Hi Ryan,

I tried reading through this whole thread and maybe I missed it. Will Pandora paid subscribers get access to the unlimited skips and song repeats through Sonos?

I have really enjoyed being able to use those features inside the Pandora app and look forward to seeing it soon through Sonos because we use our Sonos for many hours per day. Thank you.
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Wow... that escalated quickly.
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Hey guys, let's take a breather here and listen to some music or something. In truth, you're both right. There are good reasons to ask music services directly instead of just asking us here for some features or integrations. There are also times when it's best to ask us. Some development is done by just one side but usually it's teams on both ends with specific jobs.

There are also some services that don't use the Sonos Music Partner API that is on that musicpartners.sonos.com page. Don't forget, some of our partners have been around longer than those APIs and they have different versions of different things.

In the end, there's a lot of variables and when it comes to the question of "who should I ask for ______" the best answer is probably "Everyone." Let us know if you want to see a feature. Let the service know you wish they would add something to their Sonos integration or that you'd love to see them on the Sonos platform if they aren't already.

There aren't any bad suggestions. Well, there might be, but you won't be told it's a bad suggestion by us. Just remember to keep things friendly! That's the most important part. Help people with answers to their questions or give your opinion on things, but don't forget the goal here is to get along as a community. We're all music lovers.
If you hadn't posted your off-topic rant, neither one of us would have any posts in this thread. Thats on you, and you knew exactly what you were doing.

As to the rest, I dont believe I've ever said it has nothing to do with Sonos. So don't be lumping me in with those folks. Matter of fact, if you kept your criticism to that statement alone, I'd probably agree with you. Some 'fanboi' I am (by the way, that spelling is totes rad! :8) As to telling folks it is more effective to complain about a service or feature to the party responsible for implementing or requesting that service or feature? yeah, I'm probably not going to budge on that little piece of common sense.
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Until this point you, jgatie, have made more posts in this thread than I. You simply can't tolerate it when somebody doesn't share your point of view, a pattern that is evident throughout these groups. Fortunately for you, I suppose, you've found others of like mind. I am not one of them. My pet peeve is the pomposity and bullheadedness of some fanboi members of this community. There is a overbearing and unnecessary tone to the "nothing to do with Sonos" posts. And, in my opinion, that sentiment is incorrect, although I realize you have far too much energy and time invested here to budge on that. I won't lose any sleep over it, and I'm not the least bit rattled by those who believe that others who disagree with them are "tiresome." It's a discussion community, not a life. Now it's time to boot up Roon and have Sonos present me with something more pleasant. Have a good evening (or whatever time of day it is, wherever you happen to be).
I imagine if the information didn't apply, the mods would remove the sticky. Yet its still there . . .

Bottom line, you don't like people who come here to complain being told to complain elsewhere, even if elsewhere is actually where it will do the most good. That's your problem, not theirs, and you playing gotcha with the folks who give this advice in order to derail threads, making them (like this one has become) all about your pet peeve is getting tiresome. If their advice was false or misleading, Sonos would step in. They never have, so looks like you are going to spend a lot of time peeved. Get used to it.
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And God only knows why anybody should expect change in those five years, lol. It's a new world of streaming now, so why would a five-year-old plan be suitable?
By the way Toolio, Sonos felt "lobby for service/function XYZ at the service itself" to be such sound and effective advice, they made Avee's post about it a sticky on the last forum and this one for 5 years:

https://en.community.sonos.com/music-services-and-sources-228994/please-integrate-service-xyz-requests-read-this-news-25902
I never said any different. Doesn't take anything away from the fact that informing a person to lobby for service/function XYZ at the service itself is both sound and effective advice. Also, since you are so sold on their word, I will mention that very advice has been given by Sonos staff themselves. Why you seem to be peeved that people give out sound and effective advice is a mystery. But hey, we all have our nits to pick.
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The originator of this thread said nothing about playing from the Pandora app. However, if he had I would have directed him to contact Pandora about utilizing the brand new Sonos Direct Control API that was created during the collaboration between Sonos and Spotify! ;)

Keep on twisting Toolio.


You're going around in circles, trying to shape what others have or have not said into something that fits your argument. I would expect nothing less. It's rather pointless having discussions with wedded-to-the-past fanbois. We know that Sonos can partner with music services to create something better, whether it happens through an API or what you have taken to calling a "unique undertaking." We know from Ryan's comments that Sonos considers itself a partner and is willing to communicate and work with its partners on behalf of clients to resolve problems. We know that Sonos considers this a two-way street. I'm not digressing from my original contention that a small group of frequent posters in this community shouldn't be constantly saying things such as: "What did [insert music service here]" and "nothing do so with Sonos." It has everything to do with Sonos, and Sonos should (and I suspect will) do the smart thing and work with music services to improve the Sonos experience.
The originator of this thread said nothing about playing from the Pandora app. However, if he had I would have directed him to contact Pandora about utilizing the brand new Sonos Direct Control API that was created during the collaboration between Sonos and Spotify! ;)

As for other truly "unique undertakings", if one comes along that requires initialization by Sonos, I'll be the first to suggest the user lobby Sonos. See, unlike you, I don't really preach the same thing over and over. I'm here to help people.
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Since Spotify Connect was a unique undertaking that had nothing to do with Music Partners API, it therefore has no bearing whatsoever on the topic of my post.

But you knew that.


Exactly what I would expect you to say. It has "no bearing whatsoever" on your comments because it indicates behaviour and strategies contrary to those that you have outlined. You neatly cite instances that support your contentions and ignore those that don't by labelling them "a unique undertaking." I imagine it had nothing to do with an API because Sonos was interested in working with Spotify to develop a more comprehensive solution that appealed to a wide range of their customers. That's collaboration, which produced some very useful results. Clearly, Sonos users could benefit from more of these "unique undertaking"s. I'd like to see one with Tidal and one with Stitcher (so I can play historical podcasts without reverting to a line-in workaround), just to name two. No doubt the original creator of this thread would benefit from a "unique undertaking" with Pandora. I'm sure others have favorite candidates for further unique undertakings. These would benefit existing Sonos customers and potentially attract more customers for both Sonos and for music services.
Since Spotify Connect was a unique undertaking that had nothing to do with the Music Partners API, it therefore has no bearing whatsoever on the topic of my post, nor on the topic of this thread.

But you knew that. You do like to stir it up, don't you? But hey, in for a penny, in for a pound. Playing directly from a 3rd party app is most certainly something users should have requested of Sonos, You'll not find myself, or as best I can remember, anybody else telling users requesting this feature to lobby for it from the 3rd party, at least until Sonos made it possible with the Direct Control API. All initial requests were, rightly so, directed to Sonos.
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I have no idea why you are bringing the words "initial" or "responsibility" into this discussion. I don't recall focusing on either. Now that the entire usual group of suspects has entered this discussion, there is little point in persisting because you will all no doubt take great glee in gathering like a bunch of schoolchildren to repeat the same tired phrases. I will exit this discussion with this:
"The music service development is done on both sides,"
Ryan, Sonos Employee


We bring "initial" and "responsibility" into the discussion because after telling people it is best to contact the service to get something implemented, people who like to stir up the dust storm come charging in and say things like "B-b-b-b-ut it's a COLLABORATION!! Sonos says it is!!" So there is really no reason why saying it is best to contact the service itself requires words like "initial" or "responsibility", except for the fact people like you seem to need a further level of detail. A level of detail most normal folks accept as routine.


Oddly, I would venture to guess that the chain of events you outline above was not reflected in the Sonos-Spotify (Connect) relationship. In fact, Sonos seems to be taking support requests and investigating problems with Sonos and Spotify Connect. I am guessing, of course, but it seems that Sonos was quite involved in development of the use of Spotify Connect beyond an API, since its introduction coincided with Sonos beta software releases. I seem to recall quite a few requests for Spotify Connect in these forums, prior to its implementation. Do you think that was entirely the result of people "contacting the service itself?" It seems that there were quite a few changes, many of them made by Sonos, after the "initial" partnership.
I have no idea why you are bringing the words "initial" or "responsibility" into this discussion. I don't recall focusing on either. Now that the entire usual group of suspects has entered this discussion, there is little point in persisting because you will all no doubt take great glee in gathering like a bunch of schoolchildren to repeat the same tired phrases. I will exit this discussion with this:
"The music service development is done on both sides,"
Ryan, Sonos Employee


We bring "initial" and "responsibility" into the discussion because after telling people it is best to contact the service to get something implemented, people who like to stir up the dust storm come charging in and say things like "B-b-b-b-ut it's a COLLABORATION!! Sonos says it is!!" So there is really no reason why saying it is best to contact the service itself requires words like "initial" or "responsibility", except for the fact people like you seem to need a further level of detail. A level of detail most normal folks accept as routine.
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I have no idea why you are bringing the words "initial" or "responsibility" into this discussion. I don't recall focusing on either. Now that the entire usual group of suspects has entered this discussion, there is little point in persisting because you will all no doubt take great glee in gathering like a bunch of schoolchildren to repeat the same tired phrases. I will exit this discussion with this:
"The music service development is done on both sides,"
Ryan, Sonos Employee


Indeed, I have educated myself. In fact I "re-educated" myself by re-reading the links you sent earlier. Thank you for reminding me of those. After perusing those links once again I continue to see no justification whatsoever for recurring comments such as: "What have Tidal or Deezer told you when you asked them when they were going to implement this feature. They are their apps. Nothing to do with Sonos." In fact, it has a great deal to do with BOTH Tidal/Deezer/Whomever AND Sonos, as Ryan's comment confirm.
Of course, I'll take the comments of a Sonos employee as my guide, not the broken-record replies of those in this group who believe that they speak for Sonos. I'm encouraged to know that Sonos sees working relationships with music services as a collaboration despite the fact that some group members insist on repeating the "Nothing to do with Sonos" mantra.


You just don't get it, do you? Do you really think we are that stupid? We all know it takes a collaboration. However, the INITIAL (I made it big, bold, and all caps for you! I'm here to help!) effort is all on the service. In summary, most "Why don't you get XYZ on the Sonos app?" posts boil down to three requests:

Add a service.
Well, Sonos cannot unilaterally add a service to their app, it requires initialization by the service.

Add a feature that exists on other services.
Well, Sonos cannot force a service to implement a feature already in their API. It requires the service to initialize the feature in their implementation.

Add a feature unique to the service.
Well, Sonos cannot read minds as to what a service needs. If it is not available in the Sonos API, it is up to the service to initialize a request for a new feature or tweak in the API.

Now, could you kindly tell me what is Sonos' responsibility in the three scenarios listed above? You may say that it is up to Sonos to relay the request to the service, and you may not be wrong. However, the "recurring comments" are merely a call for a far more direct and effective method, and one which has shown results where no other approach has worked before. It's the novel concept of eliminating the middle man and making the request directly to those responsible for making the change! How dare we suggest something so simple and effective as that!! Shame on us.
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@Toolio, you feel you must have the last word on the subject, innit? Read the FAQ and agree to the facts.

Not at all. But I'm not going to let the same-old broken-record response go unchallenged. Again, I refer you to Ryan's response above. It is specific to Pandora because the OP asked about Pandora. Substitute "the music service" for "Pandora" for a sense of my point. Clearly, Ryan indicates development is done on both sides. Clearly, when there is a problem Sonos will speak to the music service on behalf of Sonos clients. And, clearly, the limitation is ascribed to the the integration of Sonos AND the music service. I see no reflection of the "Nothing to do with Sonos" attitude so prevalent here in Ryan's comments. Thankfully.

Actually, I see no point in Sonos and its partners not working together even more closely to ensure that Sonos customers have similar positive experiences with music, podcast and audiobook services that they have outside of Sonos. In many instances, that is not currently the case. Would that not be of benefit to all?

"The music service development is done on both sides, so we'll also let Pandora know for you too.

For now, it's just a limitation on the Sonos and Pandora integration..."
@Toolio, you feel you must have the last word on the subject, innit? Read the FAQ and agree to the facts.

Something tells me he's a supporter of "alternative facts", lol.
@Toolio, you feel you must have the last word on the subject, innit? Read the FAQ and agree to the facts.
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Your are asking me "how your post contradict this"? My post came before that one; I'm not a mind reader. I can't "contradict" retroactively.
The point is that posters here are relentlessly informed by a small group of frequent participants in these forums that everything they complain about when it comes to streaming services must be fixed or altered by the provider of that service. Yet, above, in response to one of those complaints Ryan, an employee of Sonos, says: "The music service development is done on both sides, so we'll also let Pandora know for you too." This indicates co-operation, co-development and communication. It is not as one-sided as the "what did [insert streaming service name here] say when you asked them about it?" and "it has nothing to do with Sonos" posters indicate.
This response is in no way meant to reflect badly on Ryan, who is answering the question honestly and who does a great job in this group. It is intended to point out that the small number of group members here who seem to want to speak on behalf of Sonos may not be as forthright or as correct as they think they are. I see the usual group of suspects has emerged since my post, who will soon be preaching to their own choir--again.


The quotes in that post came well before your reply to John B.

Also, nothing about Ryan's post contradicts anything said by the regulars around here, if you know anything about the behind the scenes process. I've linked you to the Music Partners program, you are more than welcome to educate yourself on that process. Until you do, your attacks on the regulars are nothing but an uninformed rant, with no basis in truth, and will be called out as such.


Indeed, I have educated myself. In fact I "re-educated" myself by re-reading the links you sent earlier. Thank you for reminding me of those. After perusing those links once again I continue to see no justification whatsoever for recurring comments such as: "What have Tidal or Deezer told you when you asked them when they were going to implement this feature. They are their apps. Nothing to do with Sonos." In fact, it has a great deal to do with BOTH Tidal/Deezer/Whomever AND Sonos, as Ryan's comment confirm.
Of course, I'll take the comments of a Sonos employee as my guide, not the broken-record replies of those in this group who believe that they speak for Sonos. I'm encouraged to know that Sonos sees working relationships with music services as a collaboration despite the fact that some group members insist on repeating the "Nothing to do with Sonos" mantra.
[...] Until you do, your attacks on the regulars are nothing but an uninformed rant, with no basis in truth, and will be called out as such.

To quote the wisest man who ever lived (according to his sidekick, Dr J. W., anyway):

»It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.«

›A Scandal in Bohemia‹ (1892) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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