Is Sonos Set To Have A Crack At Floating, Just When Their Technology Has Peaked?
Is Sonos set to try and float just when their network technology is fast being superseded by new 24-bit sound systems?
Currently Sonos audio is limited to 16bit or CD quality, as several brands including Denon with their Heos system, Bluesound, Marshall and Apple, HTC, Google and Samsung with their latest smartphones move to 24bit audio.
According to a recent advertisement Sonos is a job hunting a new general counsel, who has “public company experience”. The company requests that applicants have experience in running the legal business for a “multi-billion-dollar public company.”
It was only a week ago that Spotify floated with an initial consensus value was around US$132 a share, but shortly after listing the shares shot to US$165.90, then closed the day at US$149.01, valuing the company at US$26.5 billion.
Some claim that Sonos now has visions of a similar mult billion dollar listing despite questions being raised about the future of their technology.
Spotify is set release a new piece of hardware on April 24th in New York speculation has that it’s a music player that will be bundled as part of a Spotify subscription. The new device has a circular design with physical buttons for track controls and shuffle, plus an LED running around the outside in Spotify’s signature green.
In another hint that Sonos is looking at replicating Spotify’s success, the Company has also advertised for a corporate controller that has “current public company experience as a controller or assistance controller.”
Furthermore, Sonos requires that the applicant for the corporate controller position have “prior public accounting experience, preferably Big 4,” which in this case refers to the big four accounting firms KPMG, PWC, Deloitte, and Ernst & Young.
Variety said that the corporate controllers job description mentions that the company is in the process of implementing SOX 404 compliance.
This refers to section 404 of the Sarbanes – Oxley Act, which Congress passed in 2002 to protect investors of public companies through better disclosures.
A Sonos spokesperson declined to comment on the job listings, telling Variety: “We like where our business is, and an IPO is something all tech companies think about.”
In the past, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence hasn’t shot down the idea of Sonos going public. He said in a statement last year:
“We are considering whether an IPO would be the next best thing,” he said. “We are in a strong place, growing, profitable.”
Digital Music News in the USA said ‘With the company laying off ‘an unspecified number’ of employees, its CEO abruptly stepping down, and new deals with rival Amazon, Sonos looked like it was in trouble. In his final statement as CEO, co-founder John MacFarlane admitted that his company faced “stiff competition.”
Sonos, a fiercely-private hardware maker, has carefully guarded its sales figures. Of course, any underperforming company would. The only reputable sales figures we can rely on come from outside analysts.
Take, for example, a report last summer from Strategy Analytics. Thanks to a robust catalog of smart speakers, Amazon readily outperformed Sonos. With an estimated 5 million units shipped, the e-commerce giant had a 77% increase in volume demand. Sonos, meanwhile, only had around 4 million. Not too bad, until you realize that Sonos had been in the home audio business long before Amazon.
So, why did the company fall behind? As MacFarlane noted, top executives, including himself, misjudged voice recognition technology. That mistake led to an eventual dismissal of an unspecified number of employees.
More than a year later, the audio hardware maker is limping on. But with the release of more smart speakers in the audio market, the company may soon see it end.
As Business Insider noted, the release of Apple’s much-hyped HomePod now pits Sonos against tech giants worth $2.4 trillion.