Sonos Stations is powered by Rhapsody’s music and audio platform service “Powered by Napster.”
With the brand-new service, customers can listen to music, sports, news, and more from local stations based on their zip code, while also accessing any station globally. The service will be continually updated with new stations from various partners, including upcoming integrations with the U.K.-based radio service Global and Radio.com in the U.S.
Sonos Radio will additionally feature a range of original programming, including Sonos Sound System, an ad-free station curated and hosted by the Sonos team out of a brand-new radio studio in the company's flagship retail store in New York City.
In addition to streaming new and well-known music, insights and behind-the-scenes stories, Sonos Sound System will offer artist-hosted radio hours every Wednesday, with upcoming guest hosts to include Angel Olsen (April 22), JPEGMAFIA (April 29), Phoebe Bridgers (May 6), Nancy Whang, Jamila Woods, Jarvis Cocker, Jeff Parker, Soccer Mommy, Vagabon, Vegyn and Whitney. Each segment will feature music from and commentary around inspiring artists, as well as the host’s latest work.
Other original programming will include regularly updated, artist-curated stations. The first of these, In the Absence Thereof, comes from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and will be available at launch. Other upcoming stations include one from Brittany Howard (The Encyclopedia of Brittany) on May 5, followed by stations from David Byrne and Third Man Records at a later date.
According to Sonos, artist-hosted programming will operate much like live radio and disappear after you listen, however, Yorke’s station is going to be available for playback.
In a statement, Yorke said his station will focus on “what I have found recently that fascinates or moves me, what obsesses me, challenges me, opens new doors, reminds me of what I might have forgotten, is insanely complex or elegantly simple, violent, messy, heavy or light. Whatever has hit me over the head basically.”
Added Howard, “The Encyclopedia of Brittany is a collection of songs that weaves in and out of my personal education of music and how one goes about making it. There are beloved songs from my earliest memories of childhood to things I’ve just recently discovered. One song can be so drastically different from the next, because all that is necessary to make this list is a song that made me think, ‘wait, what is this?’ at one point in my life.”
With the new service, Sonos will also debut its new sonic branding, which was created by composer Philip Glass.
“Sonos Radio brings together streaming radio services and a select set of curated radio stations in a simple, elegant way,” said Sonos CEO Patrick Spence in a statement. “This is just a beginning as we work to deliver services that provide our customers a better experience, and provide our music streaming service partners an opportunity to highlight their best content.”
Starting today, Sonos Radio will be available for all customers worldwide, though original programming is currently only available in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland and Australia. Support for additional territories will follow.