Sonos is determined to make sure consumers know it also makes connected speakers and, hey, you know, it was here first, doing this thing for years! So today, the company released a playlist congratulating Apple on the launch of the HomePod. The playlist also serves as a message, with the title of each song spelling out a welcome to Sonos’ new competitor.
There’s a long history of companies snarkily welcoming major new entrants to the space they’re known for, famously going back to Apple’s “Welcome, IBM. Seriously.” ad in 1981. The ads do not usually speak well for the company writing them. Case in point: this isn’t even the first time it’s been repurposed against Apple for a music product — Rdio wrote “Welcome, Apple. Seriously.” when Apple Music launched in 2015. Rdio was shut down six months later.
Sonos is smart enough to not go quite that far. Its welcome message is a little critical — “you’re crazy for this,” it spells out at one point — but mostly it’s all in jest. And it’s an acknowledgement that, like it or not, there are going to be multiple parties in this space.
The playlist ends with an important note, “we’re going to be friends over everything,” which may be the most telling part of Sonos’ message: even as it competes with Apple, it relies on integration with Apple’s products in order to work. If Sonos wants its speakers to be easy to use with an iPhone — or even one day have Siri built into them — it’s going to need to stay friends with its new competitor.
Now if only Sonos had made the playlist in Apple Music, so Siri could play it on the HomePod.