Spotify Connect & India

  • 27 February 2019
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The Spotify support obviously have no clue what they are talking about.^^

If that is really the case, I request Sonos to tell me how to reply to Spotify, if the ball is truly not in the Sonos court. Else I just end up as jam in this sandwich of two partners.
And my response to Spotify:

"I understand what you are saying, but it isn't helpful, nor is it in the Spotify interest if you are not interested in working with Sonos - or Amazon for that matter - to bring the full possible Spotify experience that is available in other countries to India as well. After all if you cannot influence a partner to do necessary things, what kind of partnership is that?

I have passed on your comment to Sonos and hopefully they will respond to it more positively than you have.

I suppose you will respond in the same disinterested way where Spotify on Alexa in India is concerned."

Nothing more that I can do, except wait for one of the partners to do something proactive. And pay for Spotify premium only after this gets established.

I must say that Amazon/Apple do a much better job with global launches that either Sonos or Spotify.
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I must say that Amazon/Apple do a much better job with global launches that either Sonos or Spotify.

Um, Sonos are not a music service, the other three are. Sonos have nothing to do with geo availability of any service, they just do what they are told by streaming companies' lawyers.
I don't think you are correct; in the case of the Sonos Alexa integration for example, with Alexa launched by Amazon in India in Oct 2017, Sonos doesn't seem to have the capability to provide the server infrastructure needed for Alexa to work on Sonos in India. Or rather, the investment needed to do this is down in the Sonos prioritisation of capital spend.

And why would any streaming company lawyers come in the way of any streaming service working on Sonos AFTER the streaming service has been launched in the territory, and constrain its market there by doing that? In my case, this lack will mean that I will not subscribe to Spotify till I can use it on Sonos.

And in this case, both Spotify and Sonos seem to be saying that this is a Sonos action that needs to be taken.
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And in this case, both Spotify and Sonos seem to be saying that this is a Sonos action that needs to be taken.
Spotify has to provide the SMAPI [1] integration endpoint that Sonos systems interface with to browse, search and play Spotify content. This endpoint is unique to Sonos systems (i.e., it's not used by other vendors' systems).

If Spotify has already implemented the endpoint for India, then the ball is indeed in Sonos's court. If it hasn't, it's a necessary first step. Given the potential of the market in India, I'd be very surprised if Spotify and Sonos aren't working on getting the integration in place.

[1] https://musicpartners.sonos.com/?q=docs

If Spotify has already implemented the endpoint for India, then the ball is indeed in Sonos's court. If it hasn't, it's a necessary first step. Given the potential of the market in India, I'd be very surprised if Spotify and Sonos aren't working on getting the integration in place.

Would doing this be a costly thing in terms of development hours or hardware needed?

My understanding of the Alexa problem is that the server to server interactions that have to frequently happen if one is using Echo to voice control Sonos hardware need Sonos to have servers in close proximity to those of Amazon, both of which need to not be too far away from the market to not suffer from latency. And Sonos doesn't have the kind of financial muscle that Amazon has, to allow this server deployment to happen in India in tandem with what Amazon has already done.
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If Spotify has already implemented the endpoint for India, then the ball is indeed in Sonos's court. If it hasn't, it's a necessary first step. Given the potential of the market in India, I'd be very surprised if Spotify and Sonos aren't working on getting the integration in place.

Would doing this be a costly thing in terms of development hours or hardware needed?

It shouldn't be expensive from a development perspective, since it's just repeating what's been done in other geographies. There may be some additional hardware/network capacity required by Spotify to host the endpoint(s), but it should not be significant in comparison to the overall footprint. They will definitely want India-specific infrastructure, though.

My understanding of the Alexa problem is that the server to server interactions that have to frequently happen if one is using Echo to voice control Sonos hardware need Sonos to have servers in close proximity to those of Amazon, both of which need to not be too far away from the market to not suffer from latency.

That's correct for the Alexa/Sonos integration. For basic Spotify/Sonos integration, however, there's not much to do on the Sonos side: Sonos controllers and devices talk directly to the Spotify SMAPI endpoint(s).

Edit: in the development answer above, I'm assuming that there isn't any heavy language localisation required.
So one can hope that with not much to do on the Sonos side, this won't be a repeat of the Alexa story. Assuming that any India specific infra is needed only by Spotify, which should be in place with the official India launch done.

As to language localisation, why would casting what is playing on the phone to Sonos involve that? No voice is involved, just a click on the screen.
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As to language localisation, why would casting what is playing on the phone to Sonos involve that? No voice is involved, just a click on the screen.
Well, every aspect of the UI is in English. I'm ignorant of whether that's generally acceptable for products in India.

(When I ran large software development organisations, 'internationalisation and localisation' ('i18n' and 'i12n'), required significant investment. Having said that, I dealt with all of my India-based development teams entirely in English, so maybe that's a clue ...)
I found the information imparted in this article to be most interesting:

https://9to5mac.com/2019/03/01/spotify-warner-war-hulu-youtube-tv-growth/
Thanks to the Raj, language localisation should not be an issue here, as it is for voice; the UI is entirely in written English. What has been done by Spotify in terms of local adaption is for content that is being streamed, and casting doesn't care about what content is being streamed.

I read the link and I think the quote from the article sums up the matter:

"“It’s not really about India,” […] “It’s about leverage and renegotiation of the global agreement.”

Again, this can't have any impact on the Spotify to Sonos handshake for India. And if Apple Music could cast to Sonos from the native app, I would not care about Spotify at all. I suspect that isn't being done because of the conflict of interest between Apple and Sonos over HomePod and Sonos speakers. No such barrier should be there for Spotify. Or for Sonos, because both claim to be agnostic on the other side of the music delivery, if sides are defined as content streaming and hardware used for playing the streams.
Given the potential of the market in India, I'd be very surprised if Spotify and Sonos aren't working on getting the integration in place.

The thing is that Sonos has a very limited presence in India; translating existing prices to Indian rupees, with import tariffs on top, the product line is too expensive to become more than a very small niche. And there is no visible intent on part of Sonos to change that approach for the Indian market.
The streaming companies are able to do this very differently; the price point for a monthly subscription across the board for Apple/Google/Amazon/Spotify is the rupee equivalent of USD 1.50.
The only possibility for an early release of this feature is if it does not cost Sonos much to implement it, and if Spotify hurries them up to do it.
Again, this can't have any impact on the Spotify to Sonos handshake for India. And if Apple Music could cast to Sonos from the native app, I would not care about Spotify at all. I suspect that isn't being done because of the conflict of interest between Apple and Sonos over HomePod and Sonos speakers. No such barrier should be there for Spotify. Or for Sonos, because both claim to be agnostic on the other side of the music delivery, if sides are defined as content streaming and hardware used for playing the streams.
It can, via Airplay. This is why an implementation of "Sonos Direct Control" most likely will never happen.
It's the same as "Google restricted casting from the Google Music app to Sonos to Android devices only".
I suppose then that functionally in my case, Google music casting from my Android phone is the same as Spotify Connect would be after the shake hands with Sonos is done. What is the streaming rate for Google Music to Sonos once the casting starts?
I don't care to pursue Airplay since it will not take my phone out of the loop once music play starts, and my limited exposure to it has seen it to not be as stable as is needed for undistracted music listening.
Received mixed messages from both Sonos and Spotify India. Wish someone in Spotify India would take the specific feedback on SMApi interface point availability, but they are firefighting payment and other issues. Spotify connect is not their focus at all, it seems.
And this I received from Spotify, and plan to discontinue the Premium trial till they hopefully get their act together..

"We've taken a look backstage and found that Sonos India doesn't support Spotify yet. But one thing is for sure, changes are always welcome. There might come a time that Sonos India make an integration with Spotify.

Since Spotify has just been recently launched in your country, there are still a lot to work on. You will surely be informed for every updates that we'll accomplished.

On the side note, you may always play Spotify via Bluetooth to any capable devices and you may also listen to Spotify Offline with a Premium plan
"
I have discontinued my trial two days ago. And unfortunately, we have no idea about who is supposed to do what and by when; so for now, there isn't any Spotify in India as far as I am concerned.
I have twitted it to Sonos @sonos @sonossupport using hashtag#sonosspotifyindia from@abhinav298virgo.

Pls retweet and comment in your support. The more the merrier.
I have twitted it to Sonos @sonos @sonossupport using hashtag#sonosspotifyindia from@abhinav298virgo.

Pls retweet and comment in your support. The more the merrier.

Don't forget to tweet it to the fellows in charge as well.

https://twitter.com/spotify?lang=en
And for those that live in the twitter world, tell Spotify/Amazon as well; I would use Spotify if I could cast from it to my Echo Dot units that are wired to Sonos Line in jacks in three zones. As of now, casting to neither Echo nor Sonos is possible.
Hey there, Kumar. As you know, the news about Spotify coming to India is pretty recent. From my personal experience, I know that Sonos does not need your Spotify account to be set up for Spotify Connect to work. However, the Sonos system does still need to communicate with Spotify in order for the content to be able to start playback.

In general, Spotify on Sonos is still not supported in India. However, Spotify coming to India does help get that ball rolling. I've since reached out to the team about Spotify in India and Spotify Connect. Whenever we get an update or new information to share on this, we will post an announcement as well as an update here.
Hi Keith,

When can we expect Sonos to have Spotify service available in India. ?
Kumar you are always the one struggling with Sonos , everytime I struggle , and I google , your thread is always at the top .I guess I am ok with airplay support on sonos , little convoluted , but atleast its there ! phew
Lol. I only struggle to a limited extent; my five zone set up works fine as it did in 2011. But Sonos simply haven't the bandwidth to extend the latest features to India, so I have stopped bothering. Since my Sonos zones include three pairs of line in jacks, I can have the best of both worlds with little inconvenience.
I don't like Airplay from having used it in 2011, before my Sonos buy, and I haven't changed my mind about it.
well airplay is not as smooth as its supposed to be ,spoke too soon yday ,
but totally with you on this , the main usp of these speakers is the sound quality and the wireless nature , its disappointing to struggle so much earlier it was X ... now Y , am not over it yet