Sonos today has launched a new ad-supported streaming radio service called Sonos Radio, available for the company’s customers in select countries at launch, which includes Canada.
Sonos Radio offers over 60,000 stations from various streaming partners including TuneIn and iHeartRadio on top of original Sonos programming curated by DJs and artists as well. Napster (formerly Rhapsody) will be the first-ever streaming service on Sonos.
The company says nearly half of listening on Sonos is through radio, while over 10 million homes stream audiobooks and more through Sonos speakers.
“Sonos has always made it easy for customers to discover the riches of streaming music services by building premium products that sound great and by giving customers the freedom to use the services of their choice,” said Patrick Spence, Sonos CEO, in a statement to iPhone in Canada.
The company built a new radio studio within the flagship Sonos store in New York City, to records its signature ad-free station, Sonos Sound System. Sonos emphasizes its own radio programming is curated by humans and not algorithms.
Sonos will also have hourly guest artist radio shows every Wednesday from the likes of Angel Olsen, JPEGMAFIA, Phoebe Bridgers, Jeff Parker (Tortoise), Vagabon and more.
Other ad-free curated artist stations from Sonos will also be available, with Thom Yorke’s station launching today, followed by Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes (May 5), David Byrne, and Third ManRecords in the coming weeks.
Sonos Stations will be available as well, featuring over 30 curated ad-supported stations, from a variety of genres. These mixes are hand-picked by Sonos and will debut stations such as Concert Hall, Country Outlaws, HipHop Archive, Kids Rock, and more. The company created its own custom programming and curation tools for Sonos Stations.
When it comes to listening experience on Sonos Radio, the company worked with digital music AI company Super Hi-Fi, to ensure volume levelling for songs and ads, song blending and mixing in voice commentary.
Sonos tells iPhone in Canada it will also be debuting its new sonic brand on Sonos Radio, created by iconic composer Philip Glass, set to debut live on radio streams on April 21, 2020.
“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,” added Spence.
Sonos will launch a software update today to debut Sonos Radio, with global internet radio stations available for all customers worldwide. Customers will control Sonos Radio within the Sonos app. We’re told at launch, no voice support from Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant will be available.
As for Sonos original programming, it will be available in Canada, along with the U.S., UK, Ireland and Australia at launch, with more countries to follow.