This week, Spotify acquired French machine-learning outfit Niland. With its latest move, the music-centric startup aims to smarten up its song recommendation engines. Instead of sourcing and analyzing contextual music information off the public domain, Niland's system goes into the actual music track and "reads" from there. In a statement, Spotify said "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 short statement on the news.
Any future features that Spotify may develop using AI could also benefit from the acquisition of Niland. First, there's its algorithm-fueled Discover Weekly, which debuted in 2015 to suggest tunes that are similar to stuff you already love.
Niland will help the music streamer compete with competitors such as Apple Music and Pandora in providing the most relevant music suggestions to its 100 million plus users. While this doesn't serve up new music, it uses machine learning to pool music from your own library into themed playlists.
Earlier this year, Spotify also purchased Mighty TV, a content recommendation startup and Sonalytic, an audio detection startup.
Spotify has previously picked up blockchain database maker Mediachain Labs Inc. and two firms that focused on developing tools for automatically processing multimedia content.
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.
To coincide with Spotify's fifth birthday next week, the streaming giants are launching a new series of leadership events to kick off in Sydney week.