Sonos has announced a new product, but this time it’s not a physical bit of hardware but the Sonos Radio ad-free streaming service.
It doesn’t take a genius to guess that this new service is for streaming radio, but there are a few additions that take this beyond what you can get already.
Related: Sonos launches S2 operating system
Sonos Radio starts with more than 60,000 global radio stations, provided by partners including the existing TuneIn service, but there are plans to expand with UK-based radio service Global, and the US-based Radio.com due to be added soon.
The key thing about Sonos Radio is the original programming, coming in a few different flavours. Sonos Sound System is the company’s ad-free station, created and hosted by the company. We’ve been told that it will have “well-known music, behind-the-scenes stories, and guest artist radio hours.”
There will also be ad-free artist stations, that will have song selections from artists, “inspired by their own influences and obsessions”. Artist stations are available from day one, starting with In the Absence Thereof…, from Thom Yorke.
“Here in 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,” said Thom.
Joining Yorke over the coming weeks are Talking Heads’ David Byrne, Third Man Records and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes. New artists will be added, taking the total station count to more than 30, covering most musical genres.
All song selections on Sonos’ stations come from Rhapsody’s “Powered by Napster” catalogue and are presented ad-free. All of these stations are available from the Sonos app, with the only difference over other streaming services that you can’t pause or skip tracks.
To give the new Sonos stations that radio feel, the company partnered with Super Hi-Fi, to use AI for volume levelling across songs, song blending and to seamlessly mix in voice commentary.
Sonos Radio is available now for all Sonos users, and will work regardless of whether you upgrade to the new Sonos S2 OS or stick with older products running the S1 OS.