Apple Acqui-hired music analytic startup - Asaii

The unofficial acquisition or what it seems like an acqui-hire of automated A&R and music analytic startup, Asaii is reportedly worth around $100 million. The tech giant has not acquired the assets of the startup but only its three founders – Sony Theakanath, Austin Chen and Chris Zhang who will join the company. The founders have listed themselves as Apple employees in their LinkedIn profiles.

Since digital music service and Apple Music’s rival, Spotify is making use of its analytic and marketing tools, it is speculated that Apple seeks to enhance content recommendation for its users by investing heavily in the Asaii’s analytic capabilities.

Besides analytics, this deal has more in store for Apple. A product called – ‘Asaii Recommend’ suggests songs and playlists using algorithms based on the user’s preferences and listening habits. And also enhance user experience on the platform based on these insights.

However it is not divulged if the three founders of the startup will work on Assai’s existing tools. Besides, Apple has launched beta of its own analytic platform called – Apple Music for Artists.

The first investors of the music platform, Cameron Baradar, founder of The House commented on the acquisition saying,

“We are incredibly excited by their recent acquisition by Apple where they will have the opportunity to dramatically scale their impact and continue building out their vision for the future of the music industry.”

Asaii claims that its technology, powered with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, is capable of analysing data from popular networking sites and hunting down fresh talents before they rise to fame.
This development emerged after the music platform unexpectedly announced last month that it was shutting down its service. In an email, Asaii addressed the acquisition and stated that,

“Asaii will shut down operations on October 14, 2018.  As of that date, you will no longer have access to our API endpoints, the website, or features such as Asaii Terminal, Recommend, Artist Analytics, and others.  We’ve loved watching the artists you’ve signed, marketing campaigns you’ve launched, and love of bringing data into this industry you’ve shown over the past two years.”

Apple previous tryst with music startups include UK-based music data firm, Semetric and the most recent being the acquisition of the audio recognition platform – Shazam for $400 million.

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