If some job listings are to be believed, then Spotify might be getting into the hardware business. I am not sure, how much of that is true, but it makes perfect sense. Spotify should be thinking about vertical integration — its content, its distribution and its own speakers — it wants to compete with Apple, Amazon, and Google. Those three companies are making their speakers, have their music services and have their distribution channels.
I would go one step further and suggest that Spotify should buy Sonos. Not only it gets a fully developed hardware platform, an engineering and manufacturing infrastructure and a specialized workforce; it also gains access to a dealer network and a distribution platform. If Apple has success with HomePod, then it is terrible news for speaker makers such as Bang & Olufsen, Bowers & Wilkins and other such brands that are used for Spotify playback.
It would also allow Spotify to optimize and improve the performance of Spotify audio streams for the Sonos platform — much like Apple has optimized Apple Music for the HomePod. It needs a voice assistant service, but for now, that would give Spotify some leverage over the likes of Google and Amazon, as Sonos is an endpoint for their technologies such as Google Assistant and Alexa. For Sonos, this would be a way to secure its future, especially at a time when everyone with a music service is hellbent on commoditizing their core products. At the same time, Apple is going to be eating the lunch on the high-end.And what’s more – both companies have a very music-centric culture and could be ideal partners!
Just something to think about!
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash