Sonos Cuts Staff, Focuses on Streaming Music

Sonos CEO John MacFarlane refocusing on streaming musicSonos, the company known for its wireless speaker systems, is cutting back some staff and shifting its focus to the streaming music market. CEO John MacFarlane said Sonos is refocusing because the music industry is in transition, and his company needs to make changes to stay profitable.

Mr. MacFarlane isn't saying how many employees are losing their jobs, but he did note that some "played important roles getting us to this point," meaning they were instrumental in making the company's product lines successful in various ways.

He added,

Today, the entire music ecosystem is in transition – ultimately for the better – and so is Sonos. We have a good idea of how this will evolve over time, and we've never been more bullish on what it means for music fans. But we also know that to continue to innovate and bring compelling new experiences to market, we need to invest heavily against the opportunity.

In other words, Sonos is focusing now on customers who listen to streaming music over those who listen to their personal collections from CDs and ripped music. The company already offers streaming music support for services such as Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music, and several others.

The company is also taking an interest in voice recognition, and mentioned Amazon's Echo specifically. "Echo found a sweet spot in the home and will impact how we navigate music, weather, and many, many other things as developers bring new ideas and more content to the Alexa platform," Mr. MacFarlane said.

His comments are fairly vague, and that's most likely not an accident. Mr. MacFarlane doesn't want to tip his hand to potential competitors, nor does he want to commit to projects that could still get cut.

Mr. MacFarlane added, "We know the future is one where paid streaming and voice control play significant roles, and we're committed to running a sustainable, profitable business so that we can fund innovation in these and other areas for decades to come."