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SoundCloud acquires AI company that has AI that can "scan" for a hit

SoundCloud has acquired Musiio, a Singapore-based Artificial Intelligence music curation company founded in 2018.

The news was first reported by TechCrunch, which reports that SoundCloud plans to use Musiio’s technology to boost its own music discovery capabilities.

Co-founded by Hazel Savage, who has previously worked at the likes of Shazam, Pandora and Universal Music, the company claims to have built AI that can “listen” to music at scale.

Speaking to MBW in December 2020, Savage explained that Musiio’s technology “processes whole audio files” in order to “train the AI to look for patterns”.

Added Savage: “You can use this process to replicate anything the human ear might be able to recognize, such as the BPM and genre, right down to how much of a hit something might be.

“Our new technology is looking for hits, virality, talent and melodic familiarity as well as a bunch of other factors that make up great music.”

According to TechCrunch, Eliah Seton, SoundCloud’s President, ‘thinks that the capability of Musiio’s AI will yield especially interesting results’ on the music streaming platform.

Speaking to TechCrunch, Seton said: “SoundCloud is a unique business. Its singular market position as both a music-streaming service for fans and an artists services business is unlike any other streamer.

“Meaning, it is the only platform that truly holds a direct relationship with artists and listeners.”

“Acquiring Musiio accelerates our strategy to better understand how that music is moving in a proprietary way, which is critical to our success.

“We are honored to partner with Hazel and Aron [ Pettersson] and welcome the absolutely brilliant team of innovators at Musiio to the SoundCloud family.”

We find this interesting and also strange. Music that goes viral because of the spirit in the music, not a vocal or drum pattern. AI might be useful for a great many things but do we really want computers dictating to us what we should listen to? What happened to humans making things go viral?


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