Apple buys streaming analytics firm Asaii to bolster Apple Music recommendations, report s...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 15
According to an unconfirmed report published Sunday, Apple recently purchased music analytics startup Asaii in an effort to further refine Apple Music recommendations and better integrate with up-and-coming artists.




Citing sources familiar with the matter, Axios reports Apple paid less than $100 million for Asaii. Apple has yet to confirm the deal, though the LinkedIn profiles of Asaii's three co-founders now list the executives at Apple Music.

Founded in 2016, Asaii applied machine learning to the aggregation and analysis of streaming music. Using song playcount and associated data from Apple Music, Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, Spotify and Twitter, the firm's technology scoured the internet to deliver new and popular tracks to industry insiders. Like other analytics solutions, Asaii distilled and presented discovered information in an easy-to-use analytics dashboard.

According to the company's website, which is still active as of this writing, the analytics engine leveraged real-time song data to assign an "Assai Score," surfacing hot new artists for A&R executives. Separate products provided a newsfeed for contextualizing social media reach and a tracking module for artist management.

Asaii also marketed Asaii Recommend, an API for streaming services that powered user recommendations, generated algorithmically created playlists and more.

Asaii CEO and co-founder Sony Theakanath and co-founders Austin Chen and Chris Zhang all took positions at Apple in October.

Prior to creating the streaming analytics startup, Theakanath was a software engineer on Apple's Special Projects Team from May 2015 to August 2016, concentrating on Core OS and iAd. Chen also worked at Apple, serving as a global operations manager for four months in 2016.

The Asaii acquisition is expected to bolster Apple Music recommendations and track discovery for end users. Sources said Apple is also looking to compete with Spotify's RISE emerging artist initiative, which leverages the streaming music platform's size to promote up-and-coming musicians.

Apple's reported Asaii acquisition follows its purchase of song identification platform Shazam in December.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    I hope this will help.
    My experience with streaming services (Pandora, Spotify, Apple Radio) have been dismal.
    Skip 20 songs before they play something marginally listenable.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,349member
    I hope this will help.
    My experience with streaming services (Pandora, Spotify, Apple Radio) have been dismal.
    Skip 20 songs before they play something marginally listenable.
    My experience with Apple Music is the exact opposite. It rarely suggests artists I like, but it does seem to suggest lots of new stuff that I think, 'Oh yeah, that's pretty good; a bit like so-and-so'. I imagine streaming services in general it finds it easier to work with people who have a wide range of musical tastes.

    They have a nice line of chill mixes, but I don't like much of the pop stuff, but I don't think there's anything they can really do about that.
    repressthis
  • Reply 3 of 10
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,343member
    For some reason Apple Music is convinced, despite all evidence to the contrary, that I have an interest in hip hop.  I am quite sure that this fancy schamsy algorithm will discover for Apple Music, apparently the next Stock, Aitken and Waterman factory, that the world demands Hip Hop too.

  • Reply 4 of 10
    I like this. It seems Apple Music team has moved very aggressively. It’ll only benefit all AM subscribers out there.

    i only hope Siri team will be this aggressive because we need them to. 
  • Reply 5 of 10
    I hope this will help.
    My experience with streaming services (Pandora, Spotify, Apple Radio) have been dismal.
    Skip 20 songs before they play something marginally listenable.
    That's fairly surprising. Are you adding songs to your library? With Spotify I found that it wasn't doing a great job just based on my listening habits but once I started adding songs I liked, every week my Discover Weekly playlist is turning up plenty of interesting artists I didn't know about.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    Corporations including Apple think we should only be exposed to things we already like and understand. Keep people coming back for more of the same old thing and keep a customer for life. Well another stops progress, growth like like keeping the status quo which you would think a tech company would understand. The larger cultural and social impact of this marginalizing of content and asking us to all "pick a lifestyle so we can keep selling you the same old crap" has stagnated done it's job by dividing us into neat little groups with no curiosity or care to understand other little groups. If you doubt this take a look around at what is happening in countries submerge in a no end game consumer trap.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,108member
    Apple has already come a long way.
    I stopped listening to "new music mix" under 'for you' on Apple Music because I hated the music they recommended.  Instead, I stuck mostly to only songs I had selected in my own library.

    Last month I tried it again and was surprised to hear music that I liked.  The rap was gone and it was music again.   I don't know when they made that change, but it is very much welcome.
    claire1
  • Reply 8 of 10
    I may be an outlier, but whatever I’m in the mood to listen to has little to do with genre and more to do with objective qualities - like tempo, instrumentation, dynamics, etc. Apple Music, even still, recommends music with genre as the overall guiding criteria. Just because I like to listen to a Gregory Porter ballad doesn’t mean I want to listen Michael Bublé sing “Sway” next.  I think it would be awesome if there was a big project out there to attach metadata to every song in a streaming company’s catalog by its objective criteria. And then I could search for a song that meets a certain set of criteria. Like a song in 3/4 time at less than 70bpm in the key of E with bass, saxophone, drums and guitar.  What? Most people don’t listen to music like that? Dangit...
    edited October 15 baconstangGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 10
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,349member
    Apple has already come a long way.
    I stopped listening to "new music mix" under 'for you' on Apple Music because I hated the music they recommended.  Instead, I stuck mostly to only songs I had selected in my own library.

    Last month I tried it again and was surprised to hear music that I liked.  The rap was gone and it was music again.   I don't know when they made that change, but it is very much welcome.
    They didn’t make a change. It just made recommendations based on the stuff you listened to from your own library. 

  • Reply 10 of 10
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,108member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Apple has already come a long way.
    I stopped listening to "new music mix" under 'for you' on Apple Music because I hated the music they recommended.  Instead, I stuck mostly to only songs I had selected in my own library.

    Last month I tried it again and was surprised to hear music that I liked.  The rap was gone and it was music again.   I don't know when they made that change, but it is very much welcome.
    They didn’t make a change. It just made recommendations based on the stuff you listened to from your own library. 

    Or, maybe they simply shifted "New Music Mix" under "For You" to take that into account -- because previously New Music had zero connection to anything I had ever liked, purchased or saved in my library.  Now, it matches pretty well.
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