Spotify today announced it has acquired music data platform The Echo Nest, which will continue to operate out of its headquarters in Somerville, Massachusetts, and its offices in San Francisco. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Spotify says it will use The Echo Nest to continue on its path of growing global music consumption and bringing revenue back to the music industry “by building the best user experience and music discovery engine for millions of global fans.” More specifically, Spotify will look to leverage The Echo Nest’s musical understanding and tools for curation, not only to drive better music discovery for users, but also for brands and partners to build better music experiences for their audiences.
For developers wondering about The Echo Nest API, don’t worry: it will remain free and continue to be supported. Both companies say the developer community is crucial to their success and will remain a priority.
Spotify and The Echo Nest have a long history together. Back in March 2012, the two integrated their APIs so that any Spotify app developer could tap into The Echo Nest’s music intelligence technology. In March 2013, Microsoft, Spotify, and The Echo Nest joined forces to create Mixshape, a visual tool that automatically sorts playlists based on the properties and moods of individual songs.
“We’ve been fans of The Echo Nest for a really long time and honoured to have their talented team join Spotify,” Spotify founder CEO Daniel Ek said in a statement. “At Spotify, we want to get people to listen to more music. We are hyper focused on creating the best user experience and it starts with building the best music intelligence platform on the planet. With The Echo Nest joining Spotify, we will make a big leap forward in our quest to play you the best music possible.”
Given that The Echo Nest powers many of Spotify’s competitors, including eMusic, MOG, VEVO, Twitter Music, and Rdio, how exactly Spotify manages the API moving forward could impact online music across the board. We’ve asked Spotify to make sure that “developers” refers to everyone and doesn’t exclude other Internet radio services.
Update: “In the few cases where The Echo Nest does work with direct competitors we will work with them to understand these relationships and determine the next business steps,” a Spotify spokesperson told TNW. In other words, everything will stay the same as long as Spotify believes it is more beneficial to keep the deals in place than to cut off its competitors. We’re not holding our breath.
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