Really interesting interview by The Verge’s Dieter Bohn with newly minted Sonos CEO Patrick Spence.
So if you knew right away you wanted Alexa on Sonos, can you tell us why it hasn’t come out yet? What’s taking so long?
We’re doing it a little differently in terms of the way we approach it. Of course, we could have done it [on a different scale] and been off and running that way. But you know we think broader about the experience and what’s possible. We’re actually doing some work with them which is unique around the music experience that we’re creating. We believe that it’s worth investing that time and energy to create something a little bit more unique. Others will be able to use whatever we’re working with Amazon on, and they’ll be able to build on that. I think it’s really important we get that experience right, and that we are thinking about how we support a world where there are multiple voice services, too.
We didn’t want to end up in a situation where we’re only supporting one. You know, for instance, at CES, a lot of those devices are dedicated to one voice service. It would be like a speaker that could only do Spotify.
This is a really thoughtful take on Sonos’s place in the tech sphere, and how it competes—and doesn’t—with products like the Echo and Google Home. In particular, it’s apparent that Spence is taking the long view on Sonos’s integration with voice assistants while also maintaining that the benefit of those smart speakers is that they potentially serve as gateways to a solution like Sonos.