By John P. Mello Jr.
Sep 12, 2018 5:00 AM PT
Getting Sonos’ top-shelf audio system to play good with different linked gadgets within the home has been difficult previously, however that is about to alter.
The company has introduced the Sonos Sound Platform, which incorporates new APIs, developer instruments and documentation to make it simpler for Sonos merchandise to function with third-party and software program.
Sonos additionally introduced integration with IFTTT, a free Web-based service used to combine good home merchandise.
“Now you can have Sonos start your favorite radio station when your Ring-enabled door unlocks after you get home, or play your special pizza song (you do have a special pizza song, don’t you?) when your Domino’s order goes out for delivery,” Sonos group supervisor Ryan S wrote in an internet put up final week.
“IFTTT support adds a way for Sonos to tie its offerings into wider smart home integrations by drawing on end-user enthusiasm and a wider developer community,” famous Jonathan Collins, analysis director at ABI Research, a know-how advisory company primarily based in Oyster Bay, NewYork.
“The step is important, as it brings Sonos into the fastest-growing segment of the smart home market and increases its value to smart homes with off-the-shelf consumer devices,” he informed TechNewsWorld.
New APIs, SDKs
The Sonos Sound Platform has three goals, famous James Senior, the company’s director of product, platform and partnerships.
- Create alternatives for Sonos companions to benefit from rising tendencies within the home audio market, resembling streaming music providers, digital voice assistants and good home gadgets.
- Make Sonos merchandise extra approachable for builders with new APIs, SDKs and documentation.
- Provide prospects with extra customized experiences by way of the addition of extra intelligence to the platform, and with confidence in merchandise that say they work with Sonos by making a “Works with Sonos” certification program.
Sonos subsequent month will add APIs that allow the enjoying of quick, discrete sounds and notifications on a participant with out absolutely interrupting the music, Senior stated, in addition to enable the enjoying of Sonos playlists by way of a third-party interface, and add max quantity and quantity pass-through controls.
More Attractive Platform
Sonos traditionally has been extremely proprietary, as was many of the early Internet of Things trade, noticed Rob Enderle, principal analyst on the
Enderle Group, an advisory providers agency in Bend, Oregon.
“That means that getting a connected device to work with something that didn’t come from the same vendor was just short of impossible,” he informed TechNewsWorld.
“By supporting IFTTT, they move, along with others, to become a far more effective interoperable player,” stated Enderle, who owns a Sonos system. “It makes the Sonos platform far more attractive, and Sonos customers far more likely to stay with the platform long term.”
The Sonos Sound Platform permits the company not solely to raised serve its put in base, but in addition broaden its product portfolio, making its model extra engaging to high-end prospects, stated Brad Russell, audio analyst at Dallas-based Parks Assocates, a market analysis and consulting company specializing in shopper know-how merchandise.
Change in Attitude
By opening up its platform, Sonos has despatched a sign to the market that it is adaptable, Russell famous.
“For a long time, they fought off competition by saying, ‘We’re better because we’re proprietary. We don’t need to play with everybody else because we’re the best,” he informed TechNewsWorld.
“That argument crumbles in the face of interoperable ecosystems systems of products,” Russell continued. “They’ve shifted in some positive ways for the company by moving away from that proprietary system and toward integrating with as many people as possible.”
The transfer additionally indicators a change in emphasis by the company from to software program.
“No one just wants to be in the hardware business,” Russell stated.
“Everybody wants to add value where they can, and after 15 years in the market, Sonos’ real value is in their software,” he maintained.
“In the long term, Sonos wants to create value in software applications and the integration platform, not just the hardware,” stated Paul Erickson, senior analysis analyst on the Austin, Texas, workplaces of IHS Markit .
Deepening the Moat
Opening up the Sonos platform permits it to remain forward of its competitors, Erickson defined.
“It will help differentiate them in a market where the core functionality of having WiFi-connected speakers and multiroom audio is becoming commoditized,” he informed TechNewsWorld.
“The core capabilities that they had three or four years ago are no longer unique — they’re in every smart speaker today,” Erickson identified.
“It will put a deeper moat around the territory they already have a hold on more than growing new markets,” he added.
The program additionally may entice extra builders to the Sonos ecosystem.
“Ideally, third parties will build apps that add valuable new functions and service capabilities into Sonos smart speakers and increase their usability and customer satisfaction,” stated Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, a know-how advisory agency in Haywood, California.
“It’s analogous to taking a simple pocket knife and, with the help of developers, giving it the cool new capabilities of a Swiss Army Knife,” he informed TechNewsWorld.
While eradicating one of many main limitations to participation ought to assist entice builders, “developers will still need to see a strong value proposition to justify their investment,” Enderle famous. “Still, without interoperability, there was no real reason to even consider Sonos as a platform.”
Better Market Position
Sonos’ new open strategy may impression its fortunes within the home speaker market, which Parks Associates expects to take off within the coming months.
“We’re expecting to see a really huge sales jump in Q3 and Q4 this year,” stated Kristen Hanich, analysis analyst at Parks Associates.
“Certainly a more capable Sonos One device will help drive sales,” she informed TechNewsWorld.
There’s a notion that good audio system are floor zero for creating and evolving good home options and providers, King famous.
“If that’s the case, efforts like Sonos’ partnership with IFTTT should help the company stay in the thick of things as the smart home market develops and evolves,” he urged.
“This open API positions Sonos to much more effectively compete with big guys like Apple, Amazon and Google,” Russell added, “even while not trying to do everything they do.”