Apple just acquired music-analytics startup Asaii - which is, consequently, shutting down this month. The news was broken by "Music Ally" and has been confirmed to the magazine by the company’s initial investor.
Cameron Baradar, founder of The House explained:
As the first investors in Asaii, 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.
Moreover, Asaii CEO Sony Theakanath’s LinkedIn profile has been changed to show him working for Apple Music as of this month, as has co-founder Austin Chen’s.
As "Music Ally" puts it: why would Apple buy Asaii? Obviously for analytics, since the startup’s team and technology could be useful for Apple’s continued development of its Apple Music For Artists dashboard, for example. But this acquisition is about more than artist analytics, however. At Midemlab, Theakanath talked about a product called Asaii Recommend, which could create algorithmic, personalised playlists as well as recommend songs and playlists to people based on their listening habits.
Then, Asaii had another product that Theakanath talked about during his Midemlab pitch in June: a tool he described as an “automated A&R web platform” aimed at labels, managers and promoters trying to identify breaking artists as early as possible. Theakanath claimed that it could “identify up-and-coming artists 10 weeks before they hit the charts” by analysing the data from streaming services including Spotify and SoundCloud, with around a 70-30 rate of hits to misses – i.e. it predicted hits 70% of the time.
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