Not content to only make premium sound equipment, Sonos (NASDAQ:SONO) introduced its own free, ad-supported streaming radio service in April for users of its speakers that features collections and curated stations from musicians, such as Radiohead's Thom Yorke.

Now Sonos is entering the subscription market, launching Sonos Radio HD. For $7.99 a month, it will provide ad-free, high-definition sound of CD quality.

Man listening to music

Image source: Getty Images.

With the global pandemic keeping people at home, Sonos says, there has been a 40% increase in listening hours on its devices globally compared to last year, and radio represents half of all consumer listening time on the platform. 

Although there are over 100 streaming services available through Sonos speakers, Sonos Radio has now become the fourth most-listened-to service on the platform since its April debut.

Designed to compete with Apple Music and Spotify, the new subscription service features the ability to skip and replay songs and access over 60,000 live radio stations from around the world. 

The big difference between Sonos Radio and other services is that it's only functional on Sonos devices. The app can't be used to access the features when you're away from home, so you can't listen on your phone.

It seems a neat service for getting the most out of your branded equipment. But considering there are already a number of paid services from tech companies that are functional on the go, Sonos may have difficulty in getting people to pay up to simply skip the ads at home.

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