Amazon quietly acquired audio content material discovery engine Snackable AI to spice up its podcast initiatives

Amazon quietly acquired New York–primarily based audio content material discovery engine Snackable AI final December to spice up its podcast options, as first reported by New York Post. The tech large informed TechCrunch in an electronic mail on Friday that the Snackable AI staff joined Amazon Music to work on present 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, based on 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 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, based on Crunchbase.

Amazon added podcasts to its Music platform back in 2020 and has since been constructing out the providing and including new options, comparable to synched transcripts. Final November, the corporate made a lot of the prime podcasts on its service available without ads for Prime members. The Amazon Music app was additionally up to date to incorporate a brand new “Podcast Previews” function that lets prospects take heed to brief clips as a solution to uncover new podcasts they could like.

On the identical time, Amazon started providing Prime subscribers a full music catalog with 100 million songs, as a substitute of the beforehand extra restricted number of simply 2 million songs. The transfer was seen as a means 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 firms, together with Microsoft and Google, had been racing to implement AI-powered options into the merchandise following the launch and subsequent recognition of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Amazon was amongst many different tech firms that touted the potential of AI throughout its newest quarterly earnings name final month. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy revealed throughout a name with buyers that the corporate is building a more “generalized and capable” giant language mannequin (LLM) to energy Alexa.

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