Apple has acquired Asaii, a music analytics startup, for less than $100m, a new report has revealed. It has been suggested that the acquisition is to help strengthen Apple's recommendation engine and help it better compete with Spotify, which is still the most popular music streaming service in the world.
The Silicon Valley-born startup Asaii aggregates and analyzes music across the internet and tries to make sense of it. By analyzing listening habits from music services and social media, it can assist music labels with the discovery of new artists, help plan live tours and direct marketing campaigns.
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Apple, which already has a well-received music recommendation engine, is likely also interested in Asaii because of claims the startup has made regarding its ability to discover new artists "10 weeks to a year" before they first chart.
Apple has intensified its focus on music this year. In September, the EU permitted Apple to acquire music recognition service Shazam. The EU had initially blocked the acquisition amid worries that the tech giant would be able to use its position and assets such as the iPhone and Apple Music to lure customers away from its competitors into its own music service. However, in the end, the body decided that there were no foreseeable problems and allowed the deal to go ahead.