New Echo Nest API Features Reach Beyond the Music Industry

Eric Carter, Founder & Corporate Counsel, Dartsand
Jul. 18 2012, 07:00AM EDT

Echo Nest's API already powers hundreds of music apps (e.g. MTV, Music Hunter, Pocket Hipster,  etc.). With new enhancements to its API, Echo Nest looks to expand its reach beyond the music industry by "us[ing] music to drive non-music apps." Echo Nest added "Taste Profile Similarity" and an "affinity prediction" system to its existing platform. With the new features, Echo Nest hopes to connect music listeners to other listeners with similar tastes and predict behavior unrelated to musical preferences.

Echo Nest has long represented musical taste with "Taste Profiles": "This Taste Profile contains every music-related bit of information that we know about an individual — every song play, skip, rating, ban, thumbs up (or down) from each listener." Now, with the Taste Profile Similarity feature, services can "group like-minded users together by finding the most similar Taste Profiles to any single seed Taste Profile for many interesting reasons." Additionally, the "affinity prediction" system "uses music preferences as predictive of other media preferences and psychographic attributes." For instance, Echo Nest experimented with affinity prediction and "demonstrated the correlation between music and political affiliation." According to Echo Nest CTO, Brian Whitman, "It started as an office joke, but after running the numbers, I can’t escape the data."

The Echo Nest API uses a REST protocol, as well as XML and JSON data formats. The data set contains over 5 billion data points , including 30 million songs and 2.5 million artists. The Echo Nest developer community is full of industry thought leaders and allows developers to participate in Partner Sandboxes where content can be shared to help generate revenue.

Echo Nest's platform drives over 350 applications. Currently, Echo Nest's customer base reaches more than 100 million music fans. With the capabilities to connect like-minded users, and predict behavior not typically associated with musical preference (e.g. political affiliation), Echo Nest's integration potential may increase exponentially. For API access, click here.

Eric Carter Eric is the founder of Dartsand and Corporate Counsel for a specialty technology distributor. He is a frequent contributor to technology media outlets and also serves as primary legal counsel for multiple startups in the Real Estate, Virtual Assistant, and Software Development Industries. Follow me on Google+

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[...] music. It is using music to sell other types of products, such as jeans and cars. That&#39;s why the new Echo Nest APIs for non-music apps are brilliant. With the Taste Profile Similarity feature, services can “group like-minded users [...]