The Echo Nest Maps Facebook Music for Developers, Offers $10,000 for Best AppJune 10, 2011
The Echo Nest, a music intelligence company powering smarter music applications for leading media companies and thousands of independent developers, has added Facebook to its free “Rosetta Stone” music ID mapping service. This technology will power a new generation of socially-connected music apps on Facebook and elsewhere, offering a richer experience for music fans and a new way for artists to reach them.
With over a half a billion active users, Facebook is a main hub where music fans can connect with artists, who are embracing Facebook in droves. Meanwhile, music apps provide millions of listeners with exciting new ways to listen to and discover music. To date, these apps rarely direct fans to the appropriate Facebook artist pages or, perhaps more importantly, allowing them to “like” artists as they listen. As a result, fans have missed out on opportunities to express their taste as they listen, and to connect with the artists they love on Facebook.
For developers, The Echo Nest’s new API offering enables them to easily build music applications with links and “likes” to the appropriate Facebook artist pages, alongside the rest of The Echo Nest’s rich music data API, which lets developers work with over five billion data points on over 18 million songs and over 1.5 million artists. For music fans, The Echo Nest’s new Facebook integration will mean a more informed and connected listening experience.
To encourage the development of innovative music applications around Facebook, The Echo Nest will award one of the company’s trademark blue “Sweatsedo” luxury-wear suits filled with $10,000 to the developer of the best app using The Echo Nest API and new Facebook feature (details below).
“Though music is probably the most social entertainment medium, truly social music applications are still in their infancy,” said Jim Lucchese, CEO of The Echo Nest. “Our goal with the launch of Rosetta for Facebook and the $10,000 Sweatsedo prize is to give developers the tools and incentive to build better music apps that incorporate what Facebook has to offer artists and their fans.”
Music services and social networks list millions of artists and songs, from chart-toppers to lesser-known indie bands, but each uses different unique identifiers and URLs to refer to the same artists. The lack of any common music ID has forced developers to sort through jumble of disparate IDs in order to build apps that take full advantage of music services and social networks such as Facebook.
The Echo Nest’s Rosetta Stone technology acts as a universal artist ID translator, allowing developers to map offerings to a variety of music services including MusicBrainz, Rdio, 7digital, and others—and now Facebook, the world’s most popular social network. The addition of Facebook to The Echo Nest’s Rosetta Stone ID translator is important due to the social network’s increasing prominence as a tracker of taste. As Facebook continues to expand its reach and functionality, people will be able “like” artists and learn more about them on Facebook from wherever they happen to be listening.
In addition to building better apps on the Facebook platform itself, developers for the web, smartphones, and tablets can now include millions of links and “like” buttons for artists on Facebook, increasing the value of their apps—as well as the value of Facebook, which was not actively involved in building this tool—while helping people learn about new artists and express appreciation for the ones they already like. And Rosetta Stone is free for developers to use as they see fit.
For example, a developer could use this technology to let listeners “like” the currently-playing artist on an internet radio service such as MusicMaze.fm, or click through to the appropriate Facebook artist page from a music discovery app such as Discovr for iPad. This is no easy feat for developers to tackle on their own, because simple text search cannot sufficiently map these artists—and yet accurate matching is a must for users.
Developers have until 11:59pm EDT on August 10, 2011 to submit links to and descriptions of their applications to firstname.lastname@example.org. More details on the contest can be viewed at http://developer.echonest.com/devcontest. Judges for the prize will include Paul Lamere, The Echo Nest director of developer platform, and Eliot Van Buskirk, editor of Evolver.fm, published by The Echo Nest.
About The Echo Nest
The Echo Nest is a music intelligence company that connects the greatest application developers to the best data and music to enable the next generation of music experiences. Powered by the world’s only machine learning system that actively reads about and listens to music everywhere on the web, The Echo Nest opens up a massive repository of dynamic music data to application developers ranging from one- person operations to the largest media companies in the world. Over 160 music applications have been built on its platform to date. The Echo Nest’s customers reach over 100,000,000 music fans.
The Echo Nest was co-founded by two MIT Media Lab PhDs. Winner of three National Science Foundation SBIR grants, The Echo Nest’s investors include Matrix Partners and Commonwealth Capital Ventures, Argos Management and three co-founders of MIT Media Lab. For more information, visit the.echonest.com.