Apple Music won’t be tuning out Sonos after all, with support for the whole-home speakers coming by year-end.
Apple confirmed the plans in a statement to BuzzFeed’s John Packowski, saying “we’re working together to make Apple Music available on Sonos before the end of the year.” (Sonos’s PR director, Fiede Schillmoeller, also tweeted the same thing.) Apple’s new service, which streams millions of songs on-demand for $10 per month, launches on Tuesday for iOS and desktop web browsers with a free three-month trial. Support for Android and Apple TV is coming this fall.
Sonos had previously been ambiguous about when Apple Music support would arrive, if at all. “Sonos will not have Apple Music on it at launch but we fully expect to support them when they’re ready to focus on the home listening experience,” the company said earlier this month. “Right now they’re fully focused on mobile.”
Sonos already supports Beats Music, which Apple acquired last year. On June 30, Apple will begin prompting Beats users to switch to Apple Music, automatically taking their playlists and library with them. But for now, switching is optional, and there’s no timeframe for when Beats Music will shut down, so Sonos users shouldn’t feel like they have to jump ship.
Of course, Sonos users can also get on-demand music streaming through services such as Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, and Rhapsody.
Why this matters: Sonos users should be a prime target for Apple. Anyone who’s spent hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on home audio is clearly enthusiastic enough to also spend $10 per month on a streaming music service—and perhaps even evangelize it to mainstream users. While Beats was rumored to be working on its own Sonos competitor, that project was reportedly scrapped in a joint decision by Apple and Beats, leaving Sonos as the clear leader in whole-home audio. It behooves Apple to support the speakers sooner than later.