Sonos to (Finally) Add Google Assistant Support
Oh. My. Gawd. After nearly two years of waiting, Sonos is about set to roll out an update to bring Google Assistant support to its smart speakers. In a letter to shareholders published on May 9, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said that the Google Assistant update will launch next week to U.S. Sonos users who have the Sonos One and Sonos Beam, with more markets to come over the next few months.
“This feature will truly elevate the customer experience and marks the first time that consumers will be able to buy a single smart speaker and get to choose which voice assistant they want to use,” Spence said in the letter. “We think giving consumers choice is always the right decision, and we anticipate this philosophy will be adopted in the industry over time.”
Sonos first teased the launch of Google Assistant on its smart speakers back when the Sonos One was introduced in late 2017. At the time, the wireless, whole-home audio brand touted the One as the all-in-one smart speaker that consumers could turn to, no matter their voice assistant service of choice. At the time, Sonos made it very clear that the speaker would launch with support for Amazon’s Alexa digital voice assistant, and that support for Google Assistant would follow. But I don’t think that even they could have anticipated it would take this long to get Google’s voice assistant onto their smart speakers.
It even became something of a running joke between press and Sonos when we got together, where Sonos would address Google Assistant support first and then dive into whatever the news was that they were there to talk about.
Either way, now that Google Assistant support is set to roll out, the game really does change for Sonos’s smart speakers. Users will be able to finally access both of the wildly popular digital voice assistants from a single device. As of last year, Google and Amazon collectively accounted for 87 percent of the voice assistant market. That number is expected to dip ever so slightly to 77 percent by 2020, according to at least one source, but still, their dominance on the market is very much apparent. And on top of that, smart speaker market penetration has only hit 23 percent in the U.S., according to Voicebot.ai, which means there’s plenty of room for growth.
Sonos has wanted to take advantage of all of those facts by launching smart speakers that can tap into the entire digital voice assistant ecosystem. And now, at long last, it looks like they’re finally ready to do so.