There is no lack of music-related websites and applications for the audiophile and regular listener alike. In fact, it was just recently reported that one of the more popular music listening applications, Spotify, is preparing for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the future.
But that is not stopping a new effort from launching in the space. It is a platform by Audials AG called Music Zoom and promises to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make music discovery more interesting and enjoyable.
I spoke with Audials AG's CEO Hannes Prokoph about what makes his project special in a cluttered music environment among other things.
Why is there a need for something like this when platforms like Spotify, Pandora and Tidal exist?
Prokoph: With Audials Music Zoom you can listen to music in the best sound quality for free, without registration and free of commercials. All you need is to download the app.This app breaks through the traditional representation of a playlist and displays artists in a universe that can be explored by zooming to discover more and more artists, and allows to find not only hits from favorite musicians but also new music. Moreover, you get many more artist suggestions, since all artists are part of the app (not like Spotify where Taylor Swift or Jay Z have withdrawn their music from). Searching for and listening to music becomes an entertaining experience by visualizing it.
How does artificial intelligence work as part of the platform to distinguish it from existing music-related companies?
Prokoph: Audials scans 50,000 of the world's most important radio stations every day and recognizes what is being played using so-called audio fingerprints. Based on these several 100 million signals a month, a new Artificial Intelligence powered technology creates the world's most extensive map of all artists and their music. The position of an artist or genre on the music map and the relation among artists and those being put close to one another in the music universe are supported by AI.
How does the company plan to make money?
Prokoph: Audials Music Zoom is offered as freeware. However, the Music Zoom feature has also been integrated into the paid software Audials One or Audials Music Rocket. The paid software allows not only to listen to music in the best quality, but additionally recording it. Audials has a range of paid software for finding, recording, converting and managing music, movies, series, audiobooks or online radio from streaming services and websites.
What were your major legal considerations when building out this platform?
Prokoph: Audials Music Zoom retrieves the data from legal music video services such as YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Veoh and so on. It is therefore only a meta search engine that helps users find their favorite artists faster and listen to the songs in the best quality. Listening to content from legal streaming services involves no legal issues.