Sonos begins hiring to build “Home Theater OS.”

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Enlarge / The Sonos Arc soundbar.

According to multiple new job postings spotted and reported by Protocol, Sonos has ambitions to be the platform of choice not only for home audio but also for home theater. The job listings point to several new areas of expansion for Sonos, and paint a picture of a much broader home theater strategy than the soundbar-driven one the company is currently focused on.

Relevant job titles listed include Principal Platform Product Manager, Head of Partnerships, Home Theater and UX Lead – Next Generation Home Theater Experience.

The partnership role was shared by Sonos Chief Innovation Officer Nick Millington on LinkedIn, noting that he’s “working on a new home theater project.” According to the listings, one of the roles would work on an “OS and media platforms roadmap” for home theater, and another would work on a “next-gen content delivery experience” across “mobile devices, TVs, tablets and HW remote control”. The partnership role refers to a “Next Generation Sonos Home Theater OS”.

Sonos already makes soundbars, a subwoofer, and speakers that can be used as surround sound speakers. The devices have proven popular for home theater setups. But currently, Sonos doesn’t make a hardware remote — its home theater devices are controlled either with a smartphone app or via the remote used with the user’s connected TV.

And the company isn’t currently producing what could be termed a “home theater operating system,” meaning these job listings indicate a big shift in Sonos’ home theater strategy.

It might not get as much press as the age-old battle between Windows and macOS, or the contemporary smartphone software rivalry between Android and iOS, but fierce competition has sprung up between different tech companies for control of the operating systems that smart TVs run on around the world run . Amazon, Google, LG, and Roku all license software to TV manufacturers that allow access to streaming apps and other features, including advertising platforms. And other companies, like Apple or Samsung, at least make their own proprietary software to run on their hardware.

Bringing its software to TVs might be Sonos’ new game here, but there are other possibilities. Maybe Sonos will develop a soundbar that includes an operating system to launch streaming apps, a la Apple tvOS, Roku OS or Amazon Fire TV. It’s also possible that Sonos’ new strategy isn’t fully defined yet.


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