Spotify has now acquired music discovery and intelligence company The Echo Nest, according to an announcement made this morning. The Echo Nest is a company that specializes in music discovery and playlist AI among other things, its music recommendation technology is used by many of Spotify's competitors.
While the financial details of the deal have remained undisclosed, we know The Echo Nest API will remain free and available to Spotify competitors and that the team will operate as normal out of its Boston headquarters and San Francisco offices.
The interesting thing here is that Spotify is essentially taking control of the technology behind many of its competitor's "intelligent" music discovery services. The Echo Nest API partners include services like Rdio, Rhapsody and iHeartRadio among many others. What this actually means for the other guys moving forward is hard to say, but it will certainly be interesting to see how Spotify's control over The Echo Nest will effect the music streaming landscape as a whole. Music discovery and playlist AI among other things are arguably some of the key selling features that will sway users to one service or another, and Spotify's move on the company seems to back that up.
As part of the announcement, Echo Nest said that moving from a behind the scenes role to working side by side with Spotify will eventually lead to new innovation in the field. This is something Spotify is likely betting on, and by keeping the tech in-house it will presumably get a jump on anything ground breaking the group develops.
With all that said, there are other music discovery options out there for Spotify competitors like Gracenote, and the two companies say that the key focus of the partnership is centered around building a strong developer community moving forward.