Spotify has acquired music recommendation service Tunigo for an undisclosed sum. The Swedish startup helps listeners find playlists, provides music news and editorial, and offers lists of new releases. The Tunigo app for Spotify has been a Top 10 app since the introduction of apps on the platform.
A Spotify spokesperson tells Billboard the acquisition fits into the company's "overall strategy around music discovery" and will help its users find their way around its 20 million-track catalog. He added the Tunigo app will remain on Spotify and the Tunigo team will work out of Spotify offices in Stockholm and New York.
The acquisition is good news for music discovery services and their investors. A growing market exists for services and features that make the immense amount of digital music smaller and more manageable. Twitter has also ventured into music discovery through its acquisition of We Are Hunted, which resulted in interactive, dynamic charts of trending music called Twitter #music. The Beats Electronics-owned on-demand service with the interim name Daisy, expected out later this year, is betting it can differentiate itself through improved forms of discovery and curation.
Discovery is the future of digital music. Music services have been going to great lengths to make it far easier for their users to find music to fit their interests and moods. In its early years, Spotify did very little handholding, instead counting on its users to find music through their social networks. Spotify outsourced music discovery to third-party developers when it launched apps in November 2011. Like Deezer, Spotify has recently added features that allow users to follow artists like they would friends on social networks.
Tunigo reflects the trend toward simplicity in music discovery. It recalls Internet radio service Songza in the way it lets users choose music based on mood. Songza has a feature called Concierge that connects people to playlists based on their current activity (e.g. waking up, working at the office, entertaining guests). Tunigo suggests playlists based on mood (e.g. angry, happy, relaxed) as well as genre. Whether playlists are chosen based on mood or activity, the way people are connected to music is a departure from the norm.