Spotify snaps up music intelligence provider The Echo Nest


The popular Swedish music-streaming startup, Spotify, has just purchased The Echo Nest, a music intelligence company in the business of synthesizing billions of data points and transforming them “into musical understanding to power smarter music applications for our customers”.

And just who those customers might be? Well, the startup powers a myriad of music services, among them Spotify rivals like Rdio, iHeartRadio, Nokia MixRadio, Twitter Music and others so this is clearly a well played move on Spotify’s part.

While The Echo Nest will meet all contractual obligations to all customers, Spotify’s Graham James made it clear his company will scrutinize these relationships and “determine the next business steps”

According to a post over at The Echo Nest blog, they’re joining Spotify starting today.

Going forward, the startup plans to continue partnering with other companies, with a stronger focus on building apps and services using The Echo Nest and Spotify.

“As we explore this new direction, we’ll help each other move forward,” reads the post.

Spotify acknowledges that The Echo Nest tech will enhance every aspect of the Spotify music experience by improving music discovery by “bringing you amazing people to follow, better radio stations, and great playlists from friends and music experts”.

From the press release:

This deal will allow Spotify to leverage The Echo Nest’s in depth musical understanding and tools for curation to drive music discovery for millions of users around the globe.

The addition of The Echo Nest to Spotify will also strengthen Spotify’s ability to help brands and partners build amazing music experiences for their audiences.

Spotify will allow The Echo Nest team to continue operating out of its headquarters in Somerville, Massachusetts, in addition to San Francisco offices. More importantly, the firm’s API will remain free and open to support its robust developer ecosystem.

The Echo Nest’s Paul Lamere writes on his personal blog that the Spotify acquisition lets The Echo Nest tap Spotify’s data to enhance its API. Also, there will be no more lag between when an item appears in Spotify and when its ID appears in The Echo Nest.

The Echo Nest was started in a kitchen at the MIT Media Lab with a mission of fixing how people were discovering music.

Since then, “we’ve written a lot of code, we’ve invented technology that will power the future of music for decades to come, we manage reams of data, and we work with everyone in the business,” said the founders.