Spotify CEO teases potential AI-powered capabilities surrounding personalization, ads

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During Spotify’s second-quarter earnings call this morning, CEO Daniel Ek teased just a few ways the streaming service could introduce additional AI-powered functionality. Ek touched on how AI might be used to create more personalized experiences, summarize podcasts and generate ads.

Earlier this yr, the corporate launched a DJ feature that delivers a curated number of music alongside AI-powered spoken commentary concerning the tracks and artists you want. Ek says consumers can expect to see similar AI-powered features that aim to contextualize and personalize content across the streaming service in the longer term.

“DJ is an outstanding product,” Ek said throughout the call. “It’s probably one in every of my personal favorites over the previous couple of years that we have now developed, and we’ve seen really strong consumer interactions with that. And that just talks concerning the ability for us to contextualize and personalize all of the amazing content that we’re have on the Spotify platform. So I feel you’re going to see loads more of that where we are able to contextualize and personalize content across all the platform to make it more accessible.”

Certainly one of the ways Spotify may use generative AI is by leveraging it to summarize what podcasts are about, as it may possibly be somewhat difficult to get into recent podcasts. Ek said doing so could make it easier to merchandise recent podcasts for consumers, which might in turn result in higher engagement and more growth for creators.

Ek says one other way AI might be used to make Spotify more efficient is thru AI-generated audio ads.

“By utilizing generative AI and our tools here, I feel you’re going to have the opportunity to see that we are able to significantly reduce the price that it takes for advertisers to develop recent ad formats,” Ek said. “And that obviously means that you simply as an advertiser as an alternative of getting one ad, you’ll be able to imagine having 1000’s and tested across the Spotify networks, things that you can easily do today using text but you haven’t been capable of do over video or in audio.”

Ek’s comments come as Spotify is in search of a patent for an AI-powered “text-to-speech synthesis” system. The patent was published on July 20 and filed back in February. The technology can take text and convert it into human-like speech audio that comes with emotion and intention. The system can create realistic speech that’s able to conveying emotions similar to anger, happiness or sadness, together with intentions similar to sarcasm. It’s also able to doing so in a whispering or shouting manner, and in accents.

The patent indicates that Spotify is trying to transcend its DJ feature, which simply says just a few AI-powered sentences between songs. The text-to-speech synthesis system has the potential for use for things like narrating audiobooks using AI in a way that sounds natural. It’s price noting that Apple launched AI-powered audio narration for select titles on Apple Books early this yr.

The patent filing and Ek’s comments come as Spotify has been investing in AI voice technology. Last yr, the streaming service acquired Sonantic, a London-based startup that has built an AI engine to create realistic-sounding human voices from text, for an undisclosed sum. Spotify leveraged the acquisition to power its AI DJ feature.

Spotify’s second-quarter earnings revealed that there are currently 220 million individuals who pay for a Spotify subscription around the globe — that number is up 17% yr over yr. Overall, Spotify now has 551 million monthly lively users. The corporate reported nearly €3.2 billion ($3.5 billion at today’s exchange rate) in revenue for probably the most recent quarter. Revenue is up 11% yr over yr. Nonetheless, Spotify also reported €247 million ($274 million) in operating loss .

Spotify also announced a price hike for its premium plans yesterday. Within the U.S., a person premium plan will now cost $10.99 per 30 days as an alternative of $9.99. The duo plan will cost $14.99 as an alternative of $12.99 and the family plan might be priced at $16.99 as an alternative of $15.99.

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