Sonos appears to be working on a new TV streaming platform

Between Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, and several Smart TV platforms, the streaming TV hardware market is already crowded with several players, but it seems as though Sonos thinks there is room for one more. According to sources who spoke with Janko Roettgers of Protocol and several new Sonos job listings, the company, best known for its premium home speakers and TV soundbars, is looking to create a new “Home Theater OS” with a “Next Generation Home Theater Experience.”

Sonos isn’t being shy about its new TV streaming ambitions. A job posting from just over a week ago shows Sonos in search of a UX Lead for the aforementioned “Next Generation Home Theater Experience.” That listing mentions working on a “HW remote,” which Sonos has yet to ship with any of its products, so it seems like Sonos is planning to release a full-fledged streaming media player. Another job listing by Sonos is looking for a “Head of Partnerships, Home Theatre” which is the type of role needed to enlist major streaming services onto a new platform. That job listing mentions working with Sonos’s “Next Generation Sonos Home Theater OS.”

Sonos has been making TV soundbars for nearly 10 years. While they are premium devices, they’re “dumb” soundbars with no interface. As Roettgers points out, the company’s soundbar revenue nearly matched its speaker revenue in 2019, which was the last time Sonos broke out home theater products in its earnings reports. Assuming its home theater products have continued to grow in popularity, which seems to be the case, developing them into a full-fledged streaming platform would make sense.

What’s still unclear is what form the inevitable consumer TV streaming product from Sonos will look like. Building a new streaming OS into its line of TV soundbars would be the most logical approach. While Fire TV, Roku, and Android TV have already released soundbars that double as streaming media players, the product category makes up a tiny insignificant portion of the overall streaming media player market. To really make an impact, Sonos would need to release a stand-alone streaming media player or partner with TV manufacturers to license its new home theater OS. Seeing how none of Sonos’ existing products fall into the budget price range, it’s probably safe to say that whatever Sonos releases, it’ll probably be one of the most expensive products in its category.

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