Spotify buys Seed Scientific, digging in as the data-driven streaming platform

Spotify logo new color canvasSpotify has acquired Seed Scientific, adding to its cadre of big data capabilities. Under the new ownership, Seed Scientific will focus on analyzing the interactions artists, listeners, and brands have with the streaming platform. The company offers services in data discovery, collection, and visualization. Seed also has data science capabilities for analyzing all of that information. It will be the basis of a new Advanced Analytics division at Spotify, led by Seed’s founder and CEO Adam Bly.

This isn’t the first data company Spotify has brought into the fold. It bought The Echo Nest last year, and that was followed by the creation of several data-centric features and tools to give listeners new ways to experience the product. At this stage, though, making another purchase from that industry may be a reaction to the rhetoric behind Apple Music and at Google’s new free service, both of which focus on the human touch of playlist construction. Perhaps the need to differentiate in an increasingly crowded market has upped the appeal of being the data-driven platform for Spotify.

There’s also a more direct competitive dig in this buy. One of Seed’s previous clients is Beats Music, and it will reportedly be ending those past contracts. That means that days before the launch of its new streaming service, Apple is potentially losing out on that relationship and the important insights it offers. Sabotage may not have been the driving factor in Spotify’s purchase, but it could certainly be making Apple squirm a little.

Anna Washenko