Spotify buys Niland better compete against Apple Music

Geronimo Vena
Mag 20, 2017

On Wednesday, Spotify disclosed its acquisition of Niland.

The team from Niland will join our NY office and help Spotify continue innovating and improving our recommendation and personalization technologies resulting in more music discovery which benefits both fans and artists.

Spotify has acquired a French artificial intelligence (AI) startup called Niland in an attempt to improve its delivery of music recommendations and fight off competition from the likes of Apple Music.

In its announcement, Spotify noted that Niland is a game changer in using AI technology when in it comes to optimizing music search and recommendation capabilities.

Niland was founded in 2013 and raised undisclosed funding from French investor IT Translation.

Niland is also very focused on its API, or "application programming interface", which is used by third-party developers to interact with Niland's code. "We will keep working on new ways to better understand music to craft better innovative listening and discovery experiences", said the Niland founders.

In December Apple Music announced that it had 20 million paying subscribers, whilst Spotify passed the 50 million mark earlier this year. Niland's algorithms "teach" machines to transform music content into specific packages of data, which is considerably different to what current services do.

Alex Guillen, Go-to-Market Manager at Insight said: "Spotify buying an AI start up to stay ahead of its competition is something many businesses can really learn from".

The company may delay a much-anticipated IPO until 2018. This also includes change to Spotify's licensing with labels, using the company's growth and position as part of its leverage, to move from a varied pricing model to a fixed one.

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