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Sonos to Launch Google Assistant Support Next Week, Q2 Earnings Beat Expectations

Sonos finally is bringing the Google Assistant to its smart speakers: The company announced as part of its earnings report Thursday that Assistant support will be rolling out next week.

“Through a software upgrade, Sonos One and Beam will support the Google Assistant in the U.S., with more markets to come over the next few months,” the company said in its letter to investors.

A spokesperson declined to share additional details on the timing Assistant support for legacy Sonos speakers, saying that the company would share more next week, but CEO Patrick Spence suggested that this functionality was definitely coming as well: “If you have a Google Home device, you will be able to use that to control your Sonos,” Spence said.

Voice control via Google Assistant has been a long time coming for Sonos. Sonos first announced that it was working with Google when it introduced the Sonos One speaker in late 2017.

At the time, the company said that it was aiming to roll out support for the Google Assistant in 2018. However, in a blog post published in November, Sonos admitted that it was going to miss that deadline. Sonos began beta-testing Google Assistant with a subset of its users earlier this year.

Sonos announced the Google Assistant launch as part of its fiscal Q2 2019 earnings report, which surpassed analyst expectations. Sonos generated some $210 million during its fiscal second quarter, which ended on March 30. That’s up 13% from the first 3 months of 2018, when the company had $186.7 million in revenue.

Analysts had expected losses of $0.43 per share on revenue of $206.3 million for the quarter. The company’s share price was up around 3.4% in after-hours trading.

Sonos once again saw the biggest growth in its home theater segment, where it sold $89 million worth of devices in the quarter. This was largely driven by the Beam, a compact sound bar with integrated microphones, which led to a 57% increase in home theater speaker products sold.

Traditional speaker sales on the other hand declined, with Sonos selling 16% fewer of these devices than during the same quarter last year. The company attributed this to the discontinuation of the Play:3 speaker, as well as fewer sales of its entry-level Play:1 speaker. The number of devices sold altogether was almost flat year-over-year. Sonos sold a total of 785,291 products during the quarter, which was up just 1% year-over-year.

Interestingly, Sonos spent significantly less on marketing during the quarter, which helped the company to reduce overall costs. Part of that seems to be due a shift to online marketing, but Sonos is apparently also banking on Ikea to become a major ambassador for its brand.

The Swedish furniture giant is scheduled to launch 2 smart speakers powered by Sonos in August, which will be shown in its stores in a home-like setting. “They get 1.3 billion shoppers a year through their stores,” Spence said Thursday about Ikea. In addition to reaching new consumers in existing markets, Sonos also wants to use the chain as a way to evaluate new territories,  and then double down on those countries where Ikea’s speakers sell well, Spence explained.

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