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Amazon quietly acquired audio content discovery engine Snackable AI to boost its podcast projects

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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 Post. The tech large instructed TechCrunch in electronic mail on Friday that the Snackable AI crew joined Amazon Music to work on present podcast tasks. 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 keeping with her LinkedIn profile. Her profile notes that she leads “a crew of engineers, utilized scientists and computational linguists to construct AI-powered merchandise for Amazon Music Podcasts’ clients.”

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 know-how 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’ clients.” Snackable AI raised $3.1 million in funding earlier than being acquired by Amazon, in keeping with Crunchbase.

Amazon added podcasts to its Music platform again in 2020 and has since been constructing out the providing and including new options, corresponding to synched transcripts. Final November, the corporate made many of the prime podcasts on its service obtainable with out advertisements for Prime members. The Amazon Music app was additionally up to date to incorporate a brand new “Podcast Previews” function that lets clients hearken to brief clips as a method to uncover new podcasts they might like.

On the identical 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 companies, 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 reputation 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 constructing a extra “generalized and succesful” massive language mannequin (LLM) to energy Alexa.

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