The new Spotify Radio app (which we reported here), officially made available Friday, is powered by music intelligence platform The Echo Nest.
Spotify Radio listeners can create custom radio stations based on specific songs or artists from Spotify's music catalogue. Basically, The Echo Nest supplies the relational information ("if the user chooses song A or artist B, they'll probably like songs X, Y, and Z") to build the playlists.
With what might be a subtle poke at Pandora (the biggest competitive target for the new app), Spotify Chief Content Officer Ken Parks said in the press release, "We can't wait to hear what our users think of Spotify Radio, which offers unlimited stations and unlimited skips..."
The Echo Nest says they power more than 250 applications -- including Clear Channel's iHeartRadio and Nokia Music's Mix Radio -- and call their technology "the world's only machine learning system that actively reads about and listens to music everywhere on the web," boasting "over 5 billion data points on over 30 million songs." The Echo Nest was co-founded by two MIT PhDs. Investors include Matrix Partners, Commonwealth Capital Ventures, and three co-founders of MIT Media Lab.