Spotify wants to make music discovery easier with acquisition

Spotify has acquired The Echo Nest, a company that collects knowledge about music. This means that Spotify’s engine for recommending music and composing radio stations must be improved. The company’s dataset will remain accessible for free, Spotify promises.

The music streaming service has not disclosed what Spotify has paid for the acquisition of the company. It is clear what Spotify wants to achieve with the acquisition; it should increase the quality of the suggestions Spotify makes. This includes music to be listened to, but also people to be followed and the composition of radio stations.

The Echo Nest collects metadata from music tracks, based on which music services can make recommendations to their listeners. It also offers fingerprinting of music tracks so that services can let their users upload music and then replace those copies with the highest quality versions.

At the moment, Spotify already uses the technology of The Echo Nest, as do competitors such as Rdio and Pandora. The acquisition will not change anything for competitors, Spotify promises. In addition, The Echo Nest’s api remains free for non-commercial use.