Sonos Tipped To Enter TV OS Market In Effort To Grow ‘Services’
A series of job advertisements placed by Sonos has revealed an interesting development with the US sound Company tipped to be entering the TV OS market up against LG’s webOS, Samsung’s Tizen powered Smart TV platform and Google TV.
In the past the Company has approached several TV manufacturers to partner with them to develop TV ‘with Sono’s speakers, no one took up their offers.
Then came the notion of turning the company’s soundbars into full-fledged media players capable of running smart-TV apps.
Roku, JBL and other companies have developed similar products in the past, with little success.
No one of note in the TV market took up Sono’s offers including Loewe in Europe and several Chinese brands.
The move to develop a TV OS comes months after Sonos secured a win over Google who they accused of stealing their IP. Google developed the Android TV OS and then the Google TV OS.
Recently Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said that the Company planned no “new products” this year.
Now it’s been revealed that Sonos whose shares are down over 25% for the past six months is hiring multiple staffers for a new “Home Theatre OS” project, with job descriptions hinting at plans to run apps or experiences directly on the TV.
What’s not known is whether Sonos is set to enter the TV market directly or be a supplier of an OS that they can collect click streaming app revenue with the OS, loaded on third part manufacturers TV’s.
Sonos has in recent years taken some steps to try and generate recurring revenues via a services model similar to Apple.
The company launched an ad radio service two years ago and has since rolled out an ad-free radio subscription.
Both appear to have failed with little revenue for these services showing up in the Companies financials.
Earlier this month Sonos CFO Brittany Bagley called services “the long-term game for us” during an appearance at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference.
Among the advertisements placed in the USA was one for a “UX Lead — Next Generation Home Theatre Experience,” who will work “across device surfaces (mobile, television, tablet, and HW remote) to deliver a next generation content delivery experience.”
Applicants need to have multiple years of experience designing for mobile “and/or TV.”
The Company originally kicked off their networked audio business with their own OS and management system for Sono’s speakers, it was buggy and often disconnected speakers from a network.
Another job listing according to tech site Protocol is for a future “Principal Platform Product Manager” to develop an “OS & Media Platform roadmap”; the listing asks for applicants to have experience with modern operating systems, including Android/Android TV.
And a “Head of Partnerships, Home Theatre” will “play a pivotal role in connecting users to the content and services they love with Sono’s quality experiences they’ve come to expect,” according to another recent listing.
That listing appeared on LinkedIn with Sonos Chief Innovation Officer Nick Millington, claiming he was working on “a new home theatre project.”
Millington noted that the gig would be a great match for people with experience with streaming media, including “audio, video, games, sports, music, news, movies, TV, news, podcasts.”
Protocol claims that the new job listings make it clear that Sonos wants to play an even bigger role in the living room and shift its business model to benefit from the recurring revenue streams of the streaming media market.
The “Head of Partnerships” is supposed to help the company develop a “a platform monetization strategy,” among other things. Applicants are supposed to have a “background in digital media and/or media/application distribution platforms & technologies” as well as “working knowledge of platform monetization technologies (AdTech, billing, audience measurement, etc.).”