The Echo Nest’s core product is a database of the characteristics of 30m songs, put together automatically through a mixture of techniques.
As well as music fingerprinting – recognising and naming songs by listening to them – the information the company holds can be used to do things like music recommendation, playlist generation and data feeds.
The company also provides hooks to developers to let them use their in independent applications, while licensing their technology to larger clients including MTV and the BBC. Its music hack days have resulted in the creation of a number of popular services, from Paul Lamere’s Infinite Jukebox to This Is My Jam, which was spun off as a separate company in 2013.
As part of Spotify, The Echo Nest’s technology will be used by the Swedish firm to drive its music discovery features, and help partners build new music experiences. The service will remain free and open for external developers, and Spotify says that the developer community is “crucial to the success of both Spotify and The Echo Nest and will remain a priority for the combined companies”.
“We’ve been fans of The Echo Nest for a really long time and honoured to have their talented team join Spotify,” added Daniel Ek, founder and CEO, Spotify.
Jim Lucchese, CEO of The Echo Nest, said that “since founding The Echo Nest, Brian Whitman and Tristan Jehan have created a company completely and beautifully obsessed with understanding the world of music to help fans discover more music”.
“Joining forces with Spotify gives us the opportunity to continue doing so as part of the fastest-growing service in the world; we’re thrilled to be part of a team equally as passionate about connecting more people with more music,” he continued.
Spotify’s acquisition reflects its growing strength in the digital radio market, which is itself increasing rapidly; in the US, digital radio ad spending increased 26.3% in 2013 to reach $1.65bn, according to stats from eMarketer, even while conventional radio ad spending dropped 1.2% in the same year.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010