EnterpriseMerger and acquisition

Spotify Buys French AI Startup To Boost Music Recommendations

Sam Pudwell joined Silicon UK as a reporter in December 2016. As well as being the resident Cloud aficionado, he covers areas such as cyber security, government IT and sports technology, with the aim of going to as many events as possible.

Spotify moves to fight off growing competition from the likes of Apple Music, Deezer and Pandora

Spotify has acquired a French artificial intelligence (AI) startup called Niland in an attempt to improve its delivery of music recommendations and fight off competition from the likes of Apple Music.

The popular music streaming service described Niland’s “innovative approach to AI and machine learning based recommendation systems” as a perfect fit as it looks for new ways to connect users with new and relevant music.

The move doesn’t come a moment too soon for Spotify, as competition has rapidly increased thanks to the growth of services such as Apple Music, Deezer and Pandora.

Artificial Intelligence AI

AI recommendations

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

“The team from Niland will join our New York office and help Spotify continue innovating and improving our recommendation and personalisation technologies resulting in more music discovery which benefits both fans and artists.”

The news follows on from Spotify’s recent acquisition of Mediachain Labs, a Brooklyn-based blockchain research organisation whose work Spotify believes is “critical to the health of the music industry”.

And the deal provides yet another example of the growing focus being place on AI from businesses in a range of industries.

HPE and Nvidia, for example, recently joined forces to power AI and deep learning neural networks, while some of the world’s biggest tech companies have formed an alliance to research the challenges and ethics associated with artificial intelligence.

The likes of Microsoft and IBM have also revealed their intents to invest heavily in the technology which, although there are some concerns around job losses, will undoubtedly become central to our everyday lives.

Quiz: Put your knowledge of artificial intelligence to the test!