The Echo Nest Had a Great 2012
As we celebrate the holiday season and the coming new year, we have plenty to look back and be thankful for. Here’s a quick rundown of our 2012 greatest hits. Thanks to everyone who helped make it all happen.
January 10: The Echo Nest Brings Twitter to Music Apps
Twitter’s API allows developers to put tweets into apps fairly easily, but are they the right tweets from the right people? The Echo Nest worked with Twitter to enable apps to include tweets that are known to be from actual artists as part of Twitter’s verified artists program. As a result, apps such as Discovr Music and others can include real-time musings, links, and more from thousands of recording artists, without doing any extra coding.
February 8: New Face at Music Hack Day SF: Seatwave
As a proud founding sponsor of Music Hack Day, we were excited to see the events spawn all sorts of interesting creations this year at events in Cannes, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Sydney, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Reykjavik, Boston, and London. At the San Francisco event, we welcomed Seatwave, the top ticket exchange in Europe, meaning that music apps can now let users buy and sell tickets seamlessly while enjoying their music, reading their tweets, and so on, without developers having to do any of that integration themselves.
One of our first integration deals of the year put LyricFind, the world’s leading provider of legal song lyrics, into The Echo Nest’s Rosetta Stone platform. This makes it far, far easier for app developers to put song lyrics into any type of music app on any platform - and have it work seamlessly with data from any other Rosetta Stone partner (full list below).
The Echo Nest inked a deal with one of the largest and most important on-demand music sources in the world: VEVO, the major-label-backed music video venture operated in conjunction with Google’s YouTube. The Echo Nest now provides technology to let VEVO users create personalized music video playlists, scan their own music libraries to power recommendations on the Vevo site, and share all of those playlists with their friends.
We already powered Spotify Radio, but in March, Spotify joined Rosetta Stone, allowing app developers to put everything from tweets to tour dates into apps running within the Spotify desktop app as well as into Spotify-powered iOS apps.
Since 2007, Songkick has crawled every resource it can find to assemble a comprehensive database of all of the live music in the world, along with venue, date, and ticket-purchasing information. Such a thing is incredibly useful, of course, but it’s even more useful now that Songkick has integrated with Rosetta Stone, because app developers can put that show information next to all sorts of other stuff (listed below).
We closed a $17.3 million round of financing this year, led by Norwest Venture Partners and joined by prior investors including Matrix Partners, Commonwealth Capital Ventures, Fringe Partners, Jim Pallotta, and Michael Brown. Earlier, our CEO Jim Lucchese explained what we mean by “bringing big data to music.”
To demonstrate the power of our Taste Profile technology — a big part of our plans going forward — The Echo Nest co-founder and CTO Brian Whitman showed that a number of connections exist between musical taste and political leaning.
August 15: Introducing Artist.MTV Platform
We expanded on our previous collaborations with MTV this year by powering an important new resource for MTV and its fans: Artist.MTV (mtv.com/artists), which allows fans to research bands and artists to claim their pages. It’s so easy to use that you can simply start typing an artist’s name to bring up their page, where they will find several modules powered by our deep musical intelligence, from band biographies to news, tweets, photos, videos, and more.
We helped Nokia put free, streaming radio on its Windows Phones in the United States, following a successful rollout in Europe last fall. In addition to playing customizable artist radio stations, the Nokia Music app also lets people build more extensive playlists and stations with ease, which can be stored on the phones’ local memory, and includes a Gig Finder and expert-curated playlists.
September 20: The Echo Nest Powers Reebok’s Spotify App FitList
The link between exercise and music is well documented, but we took it to new heights this year by helping Reebok build a Spotify app that allows fitness enthusiasts and those who are taking those first, faltering steps towards a healthy lifestyle to build playlists for specific activities while taking into account their own musical taste.
October 9: Taste Profile Attributes Go Public
We revealed some key details about the Taste Profile technology mentioned above — namely, that we can track the diversity, mainstreamness, freshness, and adventurousness of any user’s listening habits. We were already doing this stuff behind the scenes, but on October 9, we rolled out these attributes for direct use by the customers and app developers who access our API.
We expanded our relationship with leading social music service Rdio by creating a smart streaming radio service that turns every artist into a streaming radio service, offering Rdio users a rich, easy-to-use new way to discover music in a “lean back” way.
November 12: The Infinite Jukebox Emerges
The Echo Nest director of developer platform Paul Lamere attracted plenty of attention with this creation, which can make any song play forever, automatically. By running a user-submitted song through The Echo Nest’s analyzer and doing too many other smart things to mention here, The Infinite Jukebox presents these never-ending songs in a circular interface that provides transparency as to its inner workings.
November 21: We Are Doing It Live!
Computers gained a new way to listen to music for the benefit of music fans everywhere when we introduced a new feature in our playlist API that can distinguish between live and studio recordings. If a music service wants to include or exclude songs that were recorded in front of a live audience, they can now do so with a simple call to our API.
December 21: API Upgrade - Genre Radio and Genre Search
We’re known throughout the world for making playlists and radio stations based on artists, taste profiles, and other factors, but sometimes, people just want a genre (i.e. “acid jazz” or “classic rock”). We’re giving it to them, with two new additions to our API: Genre Radio, which creates streaming radio stations based on any genre (try it here), and Genre Search, which lets music services and apps deliver, say, a list of Icelandic recording artists who make pop music.
Note: The above is a partial list of our announcements. For all 2012 news, start here and click “previous” to see our year unfold.
Big Year for Project Rosetta Stone
On a nuts-and-bolts level, we invented Project Rosetta Stone to help music services speak the same language. But real people — fans, musicians, and everyone in between — are the ultimate beneficiaries, because Rosetta Stone fights the “silo-ization” problem that continues to fragment their music experience across incompatible platforms.
Rosetta Stone added important new partners this year, so that they all work not only with The Echo Nest, but also with each other. Here’s the complete list: 7Digital, Deezer, EMI, Facebook, Free Music Archive, JamBase, LyricFind, Musicbrainz, MusixMatch, Playme, Rdio, Rhapsody, Seatwave, Songkick, SongMeanings, Spotify, Twitter, and WhoSampled.
The Echo Nest Reaches Over 100 Million People Each Month
Over the course of the year, our client roster grew significantly, as did some of our clients. At year’s end, our deep musical intelligence powers recommendation, personalization, and other features for EMI, eMusic, iHeartRadio/Clear Channel, MOG/Beats, MTV, Nokia, Rdio, Spotify, Twitter, and Vevo, as well as over 15,000 independent developers, reaching over 100 million music fans each month.