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Spotify snaps up a pair of apps for voice messaging and music discovery

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Spotify has announced it's buying a pair of companies today — one of which seems like an obvious fit, and another that's a little less straightforward. The first acquisition is Soundwave, a social music app that creates profiles for its users by tracking what they're listening to on various streaming services, including Spotify. Users can follow one another, chat, swap music, and see what's trending — features that all fit well with Spotify's existing product.

The acquisition that's a bit trickier to parse is Cord Project, a company started by two former Googlers that focuses on voice messaging. The firm's flagship product is Cord, a mobile app that lets users send short snippets of audio to individuals or groups. It has a simple, easy-to-use interface (you see circular portraits of all your contacts and just press and hold to send them a message), and when we tried it out in 2014 we were quite impressed. The company also a few other products including an even simpler voice messaging app named Shhout! and an audio plugin for Twitter.

Spotify isn't saying much about its plans for either company, but it's possible the acquisitions are as much about buying talent as specific products or features. Spotify exec Shiva Rajaraman suggested as much in a press release, hailing the news for giving the music streaming service "the opportunity to bring two extremely talented and like-minded teams into the Spotify family."

In the same press release, Spotify said that buying Soundwave and Cord Project fit the company's "strategy of building a great experience for music fans." Cord Project's personnel will remain in their current base in New York to form the nucleus of a new "product group that will focus on creating compelling content experiences." While the  acquisition of Soundwave will simply "help Spotify to enhance the overall consumer experience on Spotify."