Over the weekend it was reported that Apple had acquired yet another startup in an effort to improve the Apple Music service.
Now, a followup report from TechCrunch clears things up a bit, and while Apple is indeed focused on improving its music streaming platform, it doesn’t look like the acquisition of Asaii is part of that plan. Instead, according to the report, Apple instead directly hired the founders of Asaii, of which there are three, and brought them on to work on Apple Music.
This means that what Apple actually did is more like an “acquihire”, where a company hires specific employees of another company to work on their services. The original report indicated that Apple had acquired Asaii’s assets, and had done so for less than $100 million. But what was missing from that original report was Apple’s boilerplate statement it typically always provides when an acquisition of any size is rumored, saying that they don’t comment on such things.
Apple didn’t provide that statement, though, so there were some questions regarding the acquisition and if it had actually happened. Now it looks like Apple didn’t acquire Asaii, but rather just brought on talent from the company to improve Apple Music. As it stands, though, it’s unclear what the three founders of Asaii will be doing specifically at Apple, or what they will be working on for Apple Music.
“What it has done is hire a few employees of the company — specifically the three founders, Sony Theakanath, Austin Chen and Chris Zhang — who are all now working at Apple at Apple Music. (Apple has done this before: for example, it hired a team from the mapping app PinDrop in the UK; at the time it was also misreported as an acquisition.)
It’s not clear if the three will be working on similar technology, or other kinds of tools to affect how music is discovered on Apple Music. Apple has already launched a beta of its own analytics service called Apple Music for Artists.”
Apple’s work on Apple Music continues, though, aiming to offer as many different features and services within the platform as possible. Apple recently finalized its acquisition of Shazam, for instance, which Apple says will improve its own streaming platform in some capacity that has yet to be unveiled. And even more recently Genius and Apple partnered up for better integration and a lyric database.
Is Apple Music your primary method of listening to music these days?