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Spotify acquires Niland for AI-based music recommendations

Alex Spencer
Spotify co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek

Spotify has acquired French machine learning startup Niland for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 2013, Niland uses AI to analyse music, which claims enables "computers to listen to music in a human way." In practical terms, that means smarter music search and discovery tools, which it offered to clients through an API.

It seems Spotify wants the company's technology to help improve its own music recommendation, which it currently uses for services like Discover Weekly and Release Radar.

The deal will see Niland's team join Spotify's R&D unit in New York, where it will "help Spotify continue innovating and improving our recommendation and personalisation technologies resulting in more music discovery which benefits both fans and artists". 

This is the fourth acquisition Spotify has made this year, following content recommendation platform MightyTV and content identification service Sonalytic in March, and blockchain startup Mediachain last month.