Apple is acquiring San Francisco-based Asaii, an automated analytics and artists and repertoire (A&R) platform for the music industry powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence. The transaction is valued at less than $100 million, Axios reported this morning.
The deal seems to have been verified by the LinkedIn profiles belonging to company CEO and president Sony Theakanath and co-founders Austin Chen and Chris Zhang. The three men are listed as being with Apple since beginning of the month. Chen’s position with the iPhone maker is Analytics, Apple Music, while Zhang’s position is Software Engineer, Apple Music.
Axios reports that the deal will allow Apple to improve content recommendations on Apple Music, as well as help it compete with Spotify’s efforts to work directly with smaller artist, like a music label. Musically shared an email in which Asaii confirmed the service closure.
Here it is in its entirety:
Asaii will be shutting down operations on October 14, 2018. As of that date, you will no longer have access to our API endpoints, the website or features such as Asaii Terminal, Recommend, Artist Analytics and others.
You are welcome to contact us at email@example.com as our Twitter and Facebook accounts will no longer be active. We will do our best to reply in a timely manner based on the volume of emails. From today until October 14, our product will be working as-is and we will no be supporting issues with the platform.
We’ve loved watching the artists you signed, marketing campaigns you’ve launched and love of bringing data into this industry you’ve shown over the past two years.
CEO & Founder, Asaii
The Asaii website was online at post time.
According to a page describing Asaii features, they use machine learning to automatically generate artist suggestions “recommended for you and for you only.”
Artists the platform recommends are guaranteed to hit a chart within 10 weeks to a year. “Our algorithms are able to find the next Justin Bieber, before anyone else,” says the website.
Taking data from Spotify, SoundCloud, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, Asaii delivers its A&R and impact analysis to 100+ clients, including such names as Warner Music, Universal Music, Sony Music, Mom + Pop, Atlantic, Interscope, Twitter and Ministry of Sound.
Their team came from Apple, Facebook, Uber, Salesforce and Yelp.
Instead of simply aggregating data across multiple sources, Asaii’s Discover and Track products focus on in-depth analysis and prediction. Aside from the music business, their products are used by Fortune 500, booking and promoting agencies.
Musically named Asaii one of the top 20 music startups to watch in 2018.
Apple recently acquired the popular music identification service Shazaam.
What do you make of the Apple-Asaii deal?
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