Sonos launches radio streaming service in Australia

Staff Writer

Speaker company Sonos has launched a free streaming radio service in Australia.

Australia is one of five countries to get Sonos Radio, along with the US, UK, Canada and Ireland.

The company’s first in-house service, Sonos Radio offers 60,000 stations, with its own original programming recorded in a new studio at its New York office.

The offering also includes content from existing outlets TuneIn and iHeartRadio.

There are two ad-free offerings, Sonos Sound System and Artist Stations, and one ad-supported option, Sonos Stations.

Sonos Sound System will play “new and well-known” music, along with snippets of stories from artists about their music, as well as hours guest-hosted by select artists themselves.

Artist Stations showcases songs chosen by musicians and DJs which inspired their art.

Thom Yorke of Radiohead is the first announced, with David Byrne, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes and Third Man Records, following shortly.

Says Yorke about his station. “Here is a new form is that ever-rolling compilation/office chart habit of mine of putting together what I have found recently that fascinates or moves me, what obsesses me, challenges me, opens new doors, reminds me of what I might have forgotten, is insanely complex or elegantly simple, violent, funny, messy, heavy or light.

“Whatever has hit me over the head basically. It may be new or old or just dug up again.

“With all this time we have behind doors I hope this provides a welcome connection and escape… and perhaps stops the walls closing in quite so quick.”

The stations are not yet compatible with voice control via Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa on Sonos hardware, but the company is eying the possibility.

Says CEO Patrick Spence, “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.

“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.”

Sonos has 26 million hardware products in 10 million homes globally, with studies showing that radio represents nearly half of total listening time on its devices.

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