Spotify Buys Music Recommendation Service The Echo Nest

Swedish music streaming service Spotify acquired The Echo Nest. The Massachusetts-based company leads the way in music intelligence.
Posted at 2:42 PM, Mar 06, 2014

​Powerhouse music service Spotify has acquired an integral player in music discovery online, and it could spell trouble for the competition.

The Swedish music service announced Thursday it bought The Echo Nest, a music intelligence company, which compiles artist and song recommendations for users on sites like Rdio, Vevo and more.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek explained in a statement:

"We are hyper focused on creating the best user experience and it starts with building the best music intelligence platform on the planet. With The Echo Nest joining Spotify, we will make a big leap forward in our quest to play you the best music possible." (Via Spotify)

Stationed in Somerville, Mass., The Echo Nest is really good at deciding what your music tastes are, among other services. It uses its technology to personalize and deliver similar music based on the data you generate on these music sites. Spotify goes as far as calling them the "industry's leading" service.

And as the "leader," everyone wants to be your friend — including some of Spotify's direct competitors like Rdio, Vevo and Twitter Music.

In an email to The Verge, Spotify assured The Echo Nest would still complete its contractual obligations with competitor sites but gave no indication about renewing contracts or future business. The Verge points out:

"It could mean the end to great music recommendations from a number of services that don't have the resources or data sets to build their own. To that end, it's an aggressive purchase by Spotify that should help to keep it on top."

Most clients depend on The Echo Nest because they don't have the resources to compile their own database. But a writer for Gizmodo reminds us Nest is not the only player with a pulse on music.

"Some big competitors like Sony Music Unlimited, Google Music, and Beats Music are already operating largely independently of The Echo Nest. I've been told that while The Echo Nest is impressive, it doesn't take very long to replicate the product with their own user data."

Despite all these companies fighting over music intelligence, The Echo Nest has plans to stay defiantly open source. It plans to keep its API completely free and open to developers. Well, just as long as they don't compete with Spotify.