If you can’t beat ‘em, might as well join ‘em.
At an event today in New York City, Sonos announced that they’re going to be adding compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa voice control and compatibility with Spotify Connect.
Today’s event didn’t feature any brand new Sonos hardware, but instead, the announced Alexa support will be available “as a free software update that will work with existing Sonos products & Alexa-enabled devices,” according to a tweet posted by Sonos. This was done when a Twitter user asked if there will be Amazon Echo support.
Continuing to respond tweets by excited users, Sonos wrote that they would deliver a private beta this year, with an expected 2017 general availability launch.
The recent partnership with rival Amazon comes at a moment when Amazon’s Alexa has grown even more powerful since its 2014 launch, writes Forbes. This includes “ordering an Uber car to turning up the temperature on an internet-connected thermostat.”
According to Forbes, Sonos has grown to almost $1 billion in annual sales, but has had to deal with Amazon’s growing thunder in the connected speakers arena. That’s thanks in large part to Alexa and its Amazon Echo device, which has become “an increasingly popular way to play streaming music.”
In a blog post announcing the layoff of several Sonos employees, CEO John MacFarlane wrote,
“Alexa/Echo is the first product to really showcase the power of voice control in the home. Its popularity with consumers will accelerate innovation across the entire industry. What is novel today will become standard tomorrow.”
Sonos went on to tweet on their company blog that Sonos owners “will be able to control their Sonos speakers directly from the Spotify app,” very good news for Spotify subscribers who also happen to own Sonos speakers. The big question that’s being asked in Twitter is how will users be able to enroll into the private beta? Thankfully, Sonos has also posted a link where users can sign up here under the Beta Option.