Monday, September 25, 2023

SoundCloud buys AI that claims to predict hit songs

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SoundCloud has acquired audio AI company Musiio, which makes technology that can “listen” to new music and supposedly identify the hits. the take over, announced on Tuesdayaims to help SoundCloud navigate its immense library of amateur music and will become “the core of SoundCloud’s discovery experience,” the company said in a statement.

As DIY music distribution platforms like SoundCloud lower the barrier to entry for amateur artists and flood platforms with new music, identifying and promoting the good stuff has become even more challenging. SoundCloud claims that Musiio’s tools can quickly search through countless hours of (mostly bad) music and pick out the songs with patterns and characteristics that correlate with chart positions.

“The acquisition of Musiio accelerates our strategy to better understand how that music moves in a proprietary manner, which is critical to our success,” SoundCloud president Eliah Seton said in a statement.

While it’s still a long way from the smoky clubs and A&R legends of yesteryear, AI is becoming an increasingly important part of finding emerging artists. Music distribution platform Tunecore announced in February that it is partnering with LA-based music startup Fwaygo, which uses AI to match listeners with creators. Meanwhile, competing DIY music distributor DistroKid has an AI bot named Dave that rates tracks and rates qualities like “danceability” and “talkability.”

SoundCloud spokesperson Cullen Heaney declined to disclose how much the company paid for Musiio, but the Singapore-based startup was reportedly appreciated $10 million last year. Musiio CEO Hazel Savage and CTO Aron Pettersson remain on board, becoming SoundCloud’s VPs of music intelligence and AI and machine learning, respectively.

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