It's not often that a simple software upgrade can improve the prospect of an imminent technical IPO, but it may happen with Sonos, who announced support for Apple's Airplay 2 technology Wednesday.
Unlike lo-fi Bluetooth connections, Sonos speakers need a proprietary app to connect the hardware with streaming music sources and user libraries. While some users found Sonos Apps user interface challenging, everyone generally acknowledged that it was the balance required to enjoy Sonos Speakers' superior sound quality.
Over time, Sono's music services like Pandora and Spotify launched the broadcast on their speakers by allowing users to use streaming apps to select songs and playlists. Sonos also portray Amazon's voice-powered Alexa technology to its speakers last autumn. But while the company became the first third party manufacturer to integrate Apple Music, Sonos owners powered by Apple still needed to make their musical choices through the clumsy app.
With the support of Airplay 2, Sonos Speakers will be able to play multi-speaker songs from the Apple Music app and from any other iOS application that is compatible with Airplay 2. The Airplay integration is available on most Sonos speakers , including Sonos One, Beam, Playbase and Second Generation Play: 5. Supported speakers will also be able to use Siri to control Apple Music with voice.
Upgrade is expected. In the fall when Sonos added Alexa Voice Control to his speakers, it said that Airplay's support would come sometime 201
Sono's brand name can help with its debut, as well as the success of the fall's successful IPO by Roku, another gadget maker. However, Sonos showed a net loss of $ 14.2 million last year and revenue increased by only 10%, so it could use an extra boost as it approached the public stock market.
Integration of Apple Airplay can help investors trust the company's future. The lack of a user-friendly interface has switched off any Sonos owners from buying more speakers to their homes or caused people to buy lower credibility instead, but easier to use speakers like Echo. Sono's great sound-in-small speaker design has won praise, along with loyalty from some users who install them in multiple rooms.
Perhaps more important is Sono's strengthening of its prospects by spreading beyond its dependence on Amazon's Alexa. Sonos warned in its IPO prospect that Amazon could ever be deactivated by Alexa on the devices and noted that it could do it at any time. With Airplay integration, Sonos Siri adds to his voice assistant mix. The company also said that support for Google Assistant comes this year, although it will still happen.
Finally, Airplay integration will make Sonos speakers more attractive to people with iPhones. Amazon is expected to have sold between 20 million and 30 million Echos. But Apple has 800 million iTunes accounts, the best meter of how many people are actively using their iPhones and iPads. Sonos Airplay integration means that for most of these iPhone users, its speakers should be much easier to use now, and at less than half of the cost of Apple's HomePod.