Spotify purchases recommendation engine The Echo Nest, promises to keep competitors’ access open and free

Daniel Bader

March 6, 2014 3:17 pm

Spotify, a streaming music service that has yet to launch in Canada, announced today it will acquire one of the biggest names in online recommendations, The Echo Nest, for an undisclosed sum.

The Echo Nest has grown over its nine years of existence to become the leading recommendation engine for a number of streaming services; they count Rdio, Vevo, Nokia, BBC, Twitter, Foursquare and MTV as customers. With its open API, companies can synthesize customers previously-listened tracks to derive accurate suggestions for artists, albums or songs.

Spotify already used The Echo Nest, but the purchase will not affect its other customers’ service contracts — at least for the time being. It will remain an independent body, but Spotify says that “In the few cases where The Echo Nest does work with direct competitors we will work with them to understand these relationships and determine the next business steps. The Echo Nest will meet all contractual obligations to all customers.”

Rdio responded to the news with an ambiguously positive statement, claiming “At this time we have no plans to stop using the Echonest (sic) API. This is just one of the many tools we use to create the best personalized listening experience for people on Rdio.” It’s unclear, if Spotify does terminate Rdio’s access to The Echo Nest’s API, how it will affect the company’s new unlimited listening features like Stations and Recommendations.

No word on whether Spotify plans to launch in Canada, but we’re holding out hope.

  • TechD82

    Still no Canadian launch. :(
    Good thing I already have a Premium account. :)