According to reports, Asaii can help Apple compete with Spotify.
Apple has acquired San Francisco-based Asaii, a startup that built a music analytics engine for music labels and artist managers. Reportedly, the deal worth less than $100 million and is not confirmed by either of companies. Apple Music and iTunes are likely to benefit from Asaii’s machine learning algorithms. The acquisition will enable Apple to strengthen content recommendations to its music users and help it compete with Spotify’s efforts to work directly with smaller artists and music labels.
Asaii’s website states, “Our machine learning powered algorithms finds artists 10 weeks before they chart.” Asaii built tools that enable music labels to discover, track, and manage artists using machine learning. The platform sourced data from social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and streaming music services such as Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud, to find hidden talent.
Asaii offered two products specifically, a music management dashboard for A&R representatives to quickly scout and manage talent, and an API for music services to integrate a recommendation engine into their platforms.
Asaii was founded by Sony Theakanath, Austin Chen, and Chris Zhang in August 2016. All of the founders have collectively worked at Apple, Facebook, Uber, Salesforce, and Yelp previously. Currently, all three individuals work on the Apple Music team at Apple, as of October 2018, according to their LinkedIn profiles. In an email to customers, Asaii said it would be shutting down operations on October 14, 2018.
Apple will donate free watches to support BEGIN
Reportedly, Apple to provide free watches for helping a study based on binge eating. The University of North Carolina’s medical school has announced to start a study called BEGIN, which stands for Binge Eating Genetics Initiative, to better understand overeating. People with binge eating disorder often eat large amounts of food uncontrollably in a short time period. Those who follow with compensatory behavior like purging or excessive exercise are typically diagnosed with bulimia nervosa.
The initiative is to recruit 1,000 participants who have experience with either binge eating disorder or bulimia nervosa. Once they are enrolled, they can sign up with a mobile app called Recovery Record, which is designed to help users log their thoughts and feelings in a digital format, and share that information with their doctor ahead of a session. It requires about 10 minutes a day of participation.
Each participant will be given a free watch, courtesy of Apple, and researchers will monitor their heart rate using the device’s sensor over the course of a month to see if there are spikes before binge eating episodes. It is likely that a binging and purging episode would cause some biological change that would show up in the Apple Watch data.