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This article was published on January 20, 2016


Spotify buys 2 startups to boost music discovery and content experiences

Spotify buys 2 startups to boost music discovery and content experiences
Martin Bryant
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Martin Bryant

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Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

Spotify has acquired two startups in a bid to boost its product and engineering chops. Dublin-based music discovery company Soundwave and the New York-based Cord Project are both joining the streaming giant.

We first covered Soundwave when it launched in the summer of 2013. A little like a mobile-first take on Last.fm, it’s an app that logs what you listen to in real-time, and allows you to follow others and form groups with likeminded music fans.

Soundwave CEO Brendan O’Driscoll says that it’s likely that the company’s existing service will be shut down eventually, as its patents and technology are integrated into Spotify’s core product. Soundwave never became a huge mainstream hit, but boasts 1.5 million app installs across 190 countries and 14 languages.

O’Driscoll says that, among other things, Soundwave’s data will be useful for telling Spotify what people are listening to in emerging markets where streaming is yet to catch on.

Meanwhile, Cord Project launched in 2014 with a messaging app called Cord that reports more than 1 million users. The team will remain in New York to form a new group within Spotify that focuses on “compelling content experiences.” Soundwave’s team will relocate to Spotify’s offices in Stockholm and San Francisco.

No details of the size of the acquisition deals have been disclosed, although O’Driscoll tells me that Soundwave’s founders and investors have smiles on their faces.

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