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Spotify buys AI startup Niland to develop its music personalization and recommendations


Spotify has made its fourth acquisition of the year after it announced that AI startup Niland has joined its ranks.

Paris-based Niland offered an API-based product focused on providing more accurate search and recommendation options for music. Spotify said the French company will join its R&D team, which is based in New York, to help hone its personalization and recommendation features for users.

“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.

“We will keep working on new ways to better understand music to craft better innovative listening and discovery experiences,” Niland’s founding team wrote on its website.

Spotify has made personalization a key part of its service with tailored playlists like Release Radar and Discovery Weekly. The latter reached 40 million users within its first year, highlighting the value of easy-to-use and intelligent discovery.

The popular music streaming service reached 50 million paying users in March, and it has more than 100 million listeners overall when you factor in those who use the free version. Close rival Apple Music reached 20 million users in December, so it’s fair to presume that it is closing in on 30 million.

Spotify, which may delay a much-anticipated IPO until 2018, has been busy boosting its tech chops and building out new features through acquisitions this year. Since January alone, it has picked up blockchain startup Mediachaincontent recommendation startup MightyTV and audio detection startup Sonalytic.

Niland was founded in 2013 and had raised undisclosed funding from French investor IT Translation. It graduated the Paris-based accelerator program Agoranov.


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