Spotify buys Cord Project and Soundwave to be more social

Steven Loeb · January 20, 2016 · Short URL:

The acquisitions will allow Spotify to grow out its messaging and music discovery capabilities

With over 75 million users, Spotify would seem to have a pretty comfortable position in the music streaming space. With so many new players in recent years, though, including Apple, streaming has only become more competitive and crowded. With so many other options available, Spotify has to do something to stay ahead, and that means becoming more social.

Spotify has made two acquisitions, it was announced on Wednesday, purchasing CordProject and Soundwave, two startups dedicated to social and messaging.

The financial terms of the deals were not disclosed, but it was revealed that both teams will be joining Spotify’s product development organization, "where they will further boost Spotify’s existing strengths in developing engaging and innovative music experiences."

The New York City-based Cord Project provides a series of products based on voice messaging. The company's flagship product is Cord, a platform for sending short voice messages to one person, a small group, or everyone on a contact list. It has over one million users. Other projects included Chhirp, a mic button for Twitter to share short audio, and PaperCraft, a space shooter game for the smartwatch.

While Cord Project will not be shutting down, all of it's current projects will be sun setting, including Cord, the company revealed in a blog post.  Instead of working on those, the team, who will be staying back in New York, will be putting its efforts into a new product group that will focus on "creating compelling content experiences."

"We’ll be leveraging what we’ve learned at Cord Project and Spotify’s amazing analytics, data, and music catalog to reinvent how we engage with audio across a number of platforms. Certainly our biggest Cord project yet," the company wrote.

That's all pretty vague at this point, but it would seem that Spotify and the team at Cord Project are going to be building out some kind of feature that will focus on social messaging, given the company's expertise in this area. 

Founded in 2014, Cord Project had raised $1.8 million in venture funding from Greycroft Partners, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Metamorphic Ventures, Slow Ventures and Vayner/RSE, among others. 

There are even fewer details about the Soundwave acquisition.

The Dublin-based company focuses on music discovery. It tracks what songs people are listening to on their smartphones, and where, in real time, and then provides a social networking app that lets users share their music, and for others to discover it. It also contains an in-app messaging feature.

The app has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times in 190 countries in 14 languages since its launch. It currently has a database of songs that has grown to over 150 million.

For Spotify, the acquisition of Soundwave help the company "to enhance the overall consumer experience on Spotify."

Soundwave put out a blog post, where it made it sound as though it would be continuing to operate following this acquisition.

"The music industry is changing, and its changing fast. We think now is the perfect time for Soundwave to join forces with Spotify, the #1 music streaming service in the world and the perfect home for us to continue our mission," it wrote. "We owe our gratitude to a lot of people for helping us reach this milestone today & we’re excited. But we’re even more excited about hitting our next milestone and the one after that again."

Founded in 2012, Soundwave had raised $2.9 million in venture funding from ACT Venture Capital, Enterprise Ireland, Radical Investments, SparkLabs Global Ventures, and others. 

VatorNews reached out to Spotify for additional information on these acquisitions, but the company would not comment beyond what it has already said. For now, the only clue we have as to what Spotify might be up to comes from a comment by Shiva Rajaraman, Spotify’s VP of Product.

Spotify is laser focused on delivering innovative and engaging music discovery experiences to delight our millions of users," he said.

The acquisitions of both Cord Project and Soundwave give us the opportunity to bring two extremely talented and like-minded teams into the Spotify family. We’re excited to welcome them on board, and are looking forward to their contributions in shaping the future of music engagement.”

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