Sonos said in a press release that “nearly half of all listening time on Sonos is dedicated to customers’ favorite stations and DJs”, with CEO Patrick Spense adding, “Sonos Radio brings together streaming radio services and a select set of curated radio stations in a simple, elegant way. This is just a beginning as we work to deliver services that provide our customers a better experience, and provide our music streaming service partners an opportunity to highlight their best content.”
Consdiering most people use Sonos hardware to stream content via other software such as Spotify or Apple Music, the introduction of Sonos Radio represents the company itself trying to create a first party service.
This paves the way for Sonos Presents, the part of the app where Sonos will host its original radio programming. The flagship, ad-free station is called Sonos Sound System and will act a little like Apple Music’s Beats 1. Sonos said the station is curated and hosted by its own staff, and will include “a stream of new, well-known or rediscovered music, behind-the-scenes stories, as well as guest artist radio hours from the likes of Angel Olsen, JPEGMAFIA, Phoebe Bridgers, Jeff Parker (Tortoise), Vagabon, and more.”
Additionally, there will be ad-free artist curated stations with hundreds of tracks handpicked by partner musicians. The first to go live today is one from Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, called “In the absence thereof...”.
The third pillar of Sonos Radio is Sonos Stations, genre-orientated stations that have ads, unlike Sonos Sound System or the artist stations.