Amazon quietly acquired New York-based audio content material discovery engine Snackable AI final December to spice up its podcast options, as first reported by New York Submit. The tech large instructed TechCrunch in electronic mail on Friday that the Snackable AI staff joined Amazon Music to work on current podcast initiatives. The monetary phrases of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Snackable AI founder and CEO Mari Joller is now an AI and machine studying product chief at Amazon Music, in line with her LinkedIn profile. Her profile notes that she leads “a staff of engineers, utilized scientists and computational linguists to construct AI-powered merchandise for Amazon Music Podcasts’ prospects.”
Based in 2018, Snackable AI specialised in utilizing AI so as to add construction and metadata to video and audio simply with AI-generated chapters, highlights and extra. The corporate’s expertise supplies an “at a look” view to make consuming content material quick and environment friendly.
Joller’s LinkedIn profile says Snackable AI joined Amazon to “to proceed innovating and exploring new experiences on behalf of Amazon Music Podcasts’ prospects.” Snackable AI raised $3.1 million in funding earlier than being acquired by Amazon, in line with Crunchbase.
Amazon added podcasts to its Music platform again in 2020 and has since been constructing out the providing and including new options, similar to synched transcripts. Final November, the corporate made a lot of the high podcasts on its service out there with out advertisements for Prime members. The Amazon Music app was additionally up to date to incorporate a brand new “Podcast Previews” characteristic that lets prospects hearken to brief clips as a method to uncover new podcasts they might like.
On the similar time, Amazon started providing Prime subscribers a full music catalog with 100 million songs, as an alternative of the beforehand extra restricted number of simply 2 million songs. The transfer was seen as a approach for Amazon Music to lure some subscribers away from different music providers, like Apple Music or Spotify.
The tech large closed the acquisition at a time when main corporations, together with Microsoft and Google, have been racing to implement AI-powered options into the merchandise following the launch and subsequent reputation of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
Amazon was amongst many different tech corporations that touted the potential of AI throughout its newest quarterly earnings name final month. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy revealed throughout a name with traders that the corporate is constructing a extra “generalized and succesful” massive language mannequin (LLM) to energy Alexa.