Sonos Launches Speakers as a Service Business Model

Sonos is branching into its own 'SaaS' model by launching a business subscription service that helps SMBs easily construct a musical atmosphere.

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Need to Know

  • Sonos is launching a speaker and music subscription service for small-to-medium businesses.
  • Sonos will start by offering three subscription levels for stores ranging from 1000 to 3000 sq ft, and subscriptions of up to two years.
  • The service will also include free installation and 24/7 support, a predetermined amount of speakers between two and six, the Sonos app, commercially licensed music via Soundtrack Your Brand, and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
  • Multiple studies prove that using background music in stores can influence purchasing behavior.

Analysis

Sonos, the ubiquitous speaker brand, is launching a service for small-to-medium businesses that can be considered “speakers as a service.”

Sonos is testing out the business bundles in Seattle and the Netherlands, with expansion plans at the ready if the regional tests succeed. The packages optimize the way businesses can use the Sonos speakers in spas, yoga studios, restaurants, stores, and more, without locking them into a full system.

Sonos for Business offers 24-month plans, free installation and 24/7 support, a varying amount of speakers based on store size, and commercially licensed music via Soundtrack Your Brand, which provides “mood-based music for your business.” Not only that, but Sonos is offering a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Plans start at $50/month with 2 Sonos One SL speakers for businesses up to 1000 sq. ft., all the way up to $100/month for 6 Sonos One SL speakers in businesses up to 3000 sq. ft.

Professor Adrian North, head of the school of psychology and speech pathology at Curtin University in Australia, said to the BBC, “If you use music to make people more aroused they’ll act more quickly, they’ll eat more quickly. Other research shows that they’ll drink more quickly or walk around a shop more quickly whereas slow music will have the opposite effect.”

Sonos must be taking this, and several other studies, under consideration with this new offering that promises an elusive “atmosphere” for small brands that have to stand out and earn more in crowded marketplaces.

Using music to influence shopping behavior is nothing new. In 1982, Milliman found that musical tempo influences both customer traffic flow and sales volume. He found that sales volume in supermarkets was 38% higher on days when the stores played slow background music. 

In 2011, Knöferle et al found that you’re able to optimize store music to increase sales by looking at tempo/mode combinations, with the best combination being downtempo and minor. This means that sad, slow songs encourage people to spend more: 12% more on average than a fast sad song playlist.

So, while Sonos is known for its robust sound system, it may stand to reason that many of its new business subscribers should play slow, quiet, sad songs to make sure they’re getting the most out of their new subscription. The opposite may be true for busy restaurants, which might play more uptempo music to usher people in and turn tables quicker. Either way, Sonos is looking to take speaker purchasing and music selection off the hands of businesses and offer one more billable service while they’re at it.

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