Spotify Buys Cord Project, Soundwave To Improve Social Features

Stepping up its mobile and social game, Spotify just bought Cord Project and Soundwave. Financial terms of the separate deals were not disclosed.

Founded in 2012, Soundwave specializes in music discovery products and technology. Its social networking app helps users discover new music, as well as share songs, and connect with like-minded music fans.

To date, Soundwave’s app has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times in 190 countries in 14 languages.

Soundwave should help Spotify to improve its overall consumer experience, including new and improved social features. “Spotify is laser focused on delivering … engaging music discovery experiences,” according to Shiva Rajaraman, Spotify’s VP of Product.

Founded in 2014, Cord Project makes audio products for connected devices. Its flagship product, dubbed Cord, is a one-tap voice-messaging platform built for smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. Globally, Cord boasts more than 1 million users.

Cord’s team will remain in New York, where they are expected to build a new product group under Spotify, that focuses creating new content experiences.

Worldwide, Spotify continues to dominate other music-streaming services, according to recent findings from App Annie. The Swedish tech company leads the way worldwide in terms of active users, downloads and revenue, the analytics firm finds.

Pandora Radio still takes the top spot in the U.S. with its interactive radio service, while new opportunities are growing and being served by other players, particularly in Asian-Pacific markets. There local content puts regional players ahead of global giants.

In particular, Line Music and AWA Music have shown enormous potential in Japan, while Saavn and Gaana are growing rapidly in India.

Overall, the market for streaming apps continues to grow. In fact, the top streaming apps worldwide saw data consumption per active Android phone user grow by about 25% year-on-year, while downloads increased by around 15% and revenue from in-app purchases more than doubled.

Europe is home to three of the world’s biggest streaming apps that dominate the region’s landscape: Spotify, SoundCloud and Deezer.

Traditional FM radio networks are also finding some traction with apps, potentially providing a model that networks in other markets can replicate, according to App Annie.

Following its acquisition of digital music service Rdio, Pandora appears to be gearing up for a battle with Spotify, YouTube and Apple for their paid streaming customers.

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