Spotify just snapped up the keys to the biggest music data trove ever

Spotify just bought its killer app: The Echo Nest
Infinite Jukebox: possibly the best use of The Echo Nest to date

Spotify has just turbo-charged its music discovery engine by buying music intelligence company The Echo Nest.

You might not have heard of The Echo Nest but if you listen to music online then you've almost certainly used an app that makes use of its open API, which contains data like what music sounds like, what people think of it and music that sounds similar.

Spotify itself already uses The Echo Nest's music know-how in many of its apps, while Vevo, Yahoo, the BBC, MTV, Nokia, and other streaming services like Rdio and iHeartradio have also put it to good use in their radio offerings.

Infinite Rae Jepsen

It's all about finding you new music to listen to and creating fun new ways to do so. The Echo Nest is big into hack days where devs can use its 'music data points' to build tools that do things like build playlists linking disparate artist (Boil The Frog) or listen to Call Me Maybe on a neverending loop (The Infinite Jukebox).

All that musical data-crunching nous is now property of Spotify HQ, where you can bet it'll be boosting Spotify's browse and discover services, as well as its external apps.

"We've been fans of The Echo Nest for a really long time," said Daniel Ek, Spotify's CEO and founder. "At Spotify, we want to get people to listen to more music. We are hyper-focused on creating the best user experience and it starts with building the best music intelligence platform on the planet.

"With The Echo Nest joining Spotify, we will make a big leap forward in our quest to play you the best music possible."

It'll also help Spotify create bespoke musical experiences for brands which won't hurt the old cash flow.

Easy like Sunday morning

The Echo Nest API will remain free and open to the developer community - and joining Spotify will enhance that experience too.

"Although we haven't sorted through all the details, you can imagine that there's a whole lot of data that Spotify has that we can potentially use to enhance our API," writes a breathless Paul Lamere, director of developer platform at The Echo Nest.

"Spotify's API provides everything a developer needs to play music and facilitate interaction with the listener, while The Echo Nest provides deep data on the music itself - what it sounds like, what people are saying about it, similar music its fans should listen to, and too much more to mention here.

"These two APIs together provide everything you need to create just about any music app you can think of."

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.