Apple has reportedly acquired Asaii, a music analytics company focused around the discovery of new and emerging artists, according to a story from Axios. The acquisition comes as Apple Music’s main competitor Spotify is increasing its support for unsigned artists, who can now upload their music directly to its service. Last month, Asaii announced it would be shutting down on October 14th.
Asaii’s main product is a dashboard that pulls together data from both music services and social media. This dashboard is advertised as having multiple uses, such as helping record labels plan marketing campaigns and live tours. But, its main feature is allowing labels to discover artists before they make it big. Asaii claims that its tech is able to find artists “10 weeks to a year” before they chart, allowing for the discovery of “the next Justin Bieber.”
The purchase was later seemingly confirmed by the founder of The House, a startup fund and accelerator that was the first to invest in Asaii. Speaking to Music Ally, The House’s Cameron Baradar said, “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.” Key members of the Asaii team are now listed as Apple employees on LinkedIn. Apple declined to comment on the reports.
Apple’s acquisition comes as its main music streaming rival, Spotify, is expanding its reach beyond traditional mainstream artists. Last month, it announced that it would be letting unsigned artists upload music directly to its platform. In an era when most major artists are available across all streaming services, having a bigger library of up-and-coming unsigned performers could become a key differentiator for streaming services.
In addition to its artists dashboard, Asaii also produces a recommendation algorithm that streaming services can use to suggest relevant music to their listeners based on their existing preferences. It’s expected that this technology will be used to help Apple’s service compete with Spotify’s own Daily Mix and Discover Weekly recommendation services.
The acquisition, which was rumored to cost Apple less than $100 million, is the company’s second music-focused purchase this year. Last month, the company completed its acquisition of Shazam, the popular song-identification service.
Update October 15th, 6:05AM ET: Post updated with quote from The House’s founder Cameron Barardar, confirming news of the acquisition.
Update October 15th, 9:50AM ET: Added a note to say Apple has declined to comment on the report.