Oh Happy Day! Spotify and The Echo Nest Become One

Spotify made a friendly, strategic acquisition of their long time music intelligence metabase partner, The Echo Nest. I couldn’t be more enthusiastic to see these two music platform technology companies working more harmoniously to further their common music vision.

The collective intelligence of The EchoNest combined with the discovery of Spotify looms significant for music listeners, record companies, and artists. TechCrunch sees this partnership as creating a “Facebook Connect for Music”. This will be accomplished with The Echo Nest API remaining in place and continuing to serve the need of developers and music companies who use it such as XBox Music, rdio, MOG (BeatsMusic) to name just a few.

Spotify seeks to be the music identity provider across the web and mobile the way Facebook has become a social identity provider.

Spotify and The Echo Nest have a long, mutually beneficial history together. Back in March 2012, the two integrated their APIs so that any Spotify app developer could tap into The Echo Nest’s music intelligence technology. In March 2013, Microsoft, Spotify, and The Echo Nest joined forces to create Mixshape, a visual tool that automatically sorts playlists based on the properties and moods of individual songs.

What excites me the most about this closer development synergy is how Spotify will evolve and ratchet up another layer or two. Music hacking thrives with increased dimensionality now that Spotify and The Echo Nest are one entity.

Jim Lucchese says The Echo Nest and Spotify both have “music hacker cultures. We move quickly. Our goal is to start pushing things that will have a real impact on the [Spotify] user experience as soon as possible. I think probably in the next three months you’ll start seeing things in Spotify based on what we did here today that will have a big impact on music fans.”

Improvements to Spotify’s radio algorithm, discovery suggestions, and more could come even sooner, Daniel Ek says. “I expect to see things that touch consumers really, really fast. You’ll start noticing improvements pretty much instantly.”

I expect further analysis and commentary as the industry processes this announcement. Man do I love this deal and what it will bring us all.

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3 Replies to “Oh Happy Day! Spotify and The Echo Nest Become One”

  1. Artificial intelligence. You do realize that you are swapping out spontaneity and inspiration for predictability. Opting for a smaller Katy Perry type experience driven by popularity not nuance.

    This is the problem I have with tech based, subjective decision making. Not to mention the, once again, elimination of jobs. This was the problem with Clear Channel and the programming consolidation of radio, but on a much larger scale.

    If I need computer navigation information to get me to the the moon I’m all for it, but if I’m dealin with humanities, I’d rather have an imperfect human making those decisions.


  2. Will,

    I disagree with your comment. What I realize is that spontaneity and inspiration continue to flourish with more creative playlists and Spotify platform applications.

    I don’t see Spotify and The Echo Nest as a “smaller” experience. If anything it is a larger, “Big Data” music experience. Your words “popularity not nuance” don’t ring true to me. Spotify/Nest is an “intelligent” music experience that the music fan can participate in exclusive of popularity. I use Spotify every day to discover and listen to artists I need to hear and then write about and/or enjoy.

    I can’t afford ALL the music in the cloud. Like yourself I only have so much discretionary income. Many times I listen to Spotify then buy and own the music. But no one can own ALL the music.

    I appreciate your concern with tech-based music. But it is inescapable in 2014 and beyond. Spotify is NOT Clear Channel that’s an apples and oranges comparison. All 63 jobs at The Echo Nest were preserved. If anything Spotify will grow more jobs as they move to become a publicly traded corporation.

    It’s interesting to note that many of the music companies do human curation and then charge it to subscribers accordingly. Pandora does this and BeatsMusic pays big bucks to their human music curators who are subject matter authorities in their respective music genres. They are all data mining for the listener.

    So yes you can walk up to a vinyl bin and flip through records to buy, that will always be fun. But if you want human curation done for you BeatsMusic which to me is like FM radio playlists or Pandora is your choice as a cloud music solution.

    I love even more that as a subscriber of Spotify I can curate and data mine myself with their platform. I can do it effortlessly through the many music hacks that are now Spotify apps. We live in an app universe.

    The other shoe in the cloud music marketplace will drop on Tuesday at SXSW when Neil Young debuts Pono Music to the world via Austin, Texas. I feel this will be a major game changer. I want high-resolution audio, 100% of the sound not the 5% that MP3’s supply. Unfortunately Spotify and others give us MP3 320 kbs at $9.99 a month.

    Pono Music will change my cloud music choice. Maybe I will pay and use both. I dislike the tin can sound of Spotify on my iPhone 4s. I know the sound would be better on an HTC One smartphone with a software Beats Audio amplifier and Beats Buds but I’m not going that route because Beats Music is a “closed” music architecture.

    I will be updating what I play my cloud music through when Neil Young reveals more about Pono Music. Lots to learn here. Price, options, high-resolution audio library. I think I am going to love waging heavy peace with Pono Music.

    I still also buy vinyl to collect at this stage. Can’t wait for Record Store Day 2014.

    So cloud music and vinyl, it’s all good.


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