Sonos Radio is the Latest Free Music Streaming Service

Will curated Artist Stations make you buy a speaker?

While the price is right at free, the service only applies to owners of Sonos speakers. Whether this will be enough to drive people to buy more of the devices remains to be seen, especially with the head start other services like Spotify and Apple Music already have.

Sonos Radio In the Absence Thereof curated by Thom Yorke
 Sonos

Maker of high-end audio speakers Sonos launched a new, free streaming music service, Sonos Radio, exclusively for Sonos customers.

The advantage: Sonos already caters to audiophiles who value great sound, making a free streaming service a no-brainer. Sonos Radio offers ad-free radio stations that include both local radio (via TuneIn) and Sonos-curated radio stations along with behind-the-scenes stories and guest radio DJs like Angel Olsen, Phoebe Bridgers, and Jarvis Cocker.

Users will also get ad-free artist stations from superstars like David Byrne, Brittany Howard, and—premiering on launch day—Thom Yorke. There's also more than 30 stations of genre music to choose from.

Streaming music service subscribers:

  • Spotify: 124M 
  • Apple Music: 60m
  • Amazon: 55m
  • Tencent Music: 35.4m
  • YouTube Music: 20m
  • Pandora: 6.2m

Source: Music Ally

Behind the scenes: Sonos Radio faces some tough competition. According to Music Ally, Spotify is the current streaming music champ, with 271m users and 124m subscribers, while Apple Music and Amazon come up next with 60m and 55m, respectively.

Bottom line: Sonos Radio has all the features a modern streaming service needs, including artist- and DJ-curated stations and radio, as well as an attractive price point (free). Whether this (plus the advantage a great-sounding Sonos speaker) is enough to make it worth consumers' time is hard to predict. If nothing else, Sonos users can enjoy the free music.

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