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Spotify acquires AI startup to compete with Apple Music

Spotify acquires AI startup to compete with Apple Music

This week, Spotify acquired French machine-learning outfit Niland. Since January, it has picked up blockchain startup Mediachain, content recommendation startup MightyTV and audio detection startup Sonalytics. The deal brings aboard an experienced team of machine learning researchers who have spent years exploring how the technology can be applied to processing music.

"Niland has changed the game for how AI technology can optimize music search and recommendation capabilities and shares Spotify's passion for surfacing the right content to the right user at the right time", Spotify said in a statement.

This acquisition of Niland marks the fourth acquisition by the company so far in this year. Clearly Spotify wants to integrate the company's talents into its own song suggestion engines.

Spotify's financial health isn't only key to its own survival but also to the viability of streaming generally, as the main way that consumers like you listen to music today. The app also offers Daily Mixes.

Personalized playlists like Discover Weekly and Release Radar have become incredibly popular over the past few years, and they are a beloved differentiator for the company, so anything that can be done to make them even better is likely worth whatever price Spotify paid for Niland, which wasn't released. By acquiring such a developer-friendly A.I. solution, Spotify could stimulate the creation of unique services atop its platform - something that's basically impossible to imagine from a more closed company like Apple.

This has resulted in a services arms race between Spotify and rivals such as Apple Music, Google Play and Tidal to create the "killer app" that will give it a major advantage.

Everything at Spotify seems to be getting bigger, including its losses.