Microsoft has bought Groove, a music app for iPhone that uses machine learning to generate playlists, according to VentureBeat.
“Microsoft acquired Zikera’s Groove music app. We have nothing more to share,” a Microsoft spokesperson told VentureBeat. The company did not say how much it paid for Groove.
Groove, which shares a name with Microsoft’s own in-house music service, launched in 2009 and had around 1.5 million users, according to VentureBeat. The team said, in a blog post, that “millions” of people use the service.
“Our journey started back in the days of the iPod,” wrote the Groove team in a post on Medium announcing the acquisition. “[W]e envisioned a music player so intelligent that learns our tastes and habits in order to play the right music at the right time.”
Microsoft has bought several AI and machine learning-focused startups, the most recent of which was SwiftKey. The London-based startup made a keyboard that predicted the upcoming words in a sentence as the user typed it.
The company has also released a series of apps for Android and the iPhone that use AI and machine learning. Mimiker, an alarm clock for Android, requires the user to complete tasks, such as smiling, to switch it off.
“Microsoft is a pretty serious business with clearly a lot going on in the AI and machine learning space,” said Azeem Azhar, an AI expert, in an email to Business Insider last month.
Groove Music, which has its own iPhone app, is similar to Spotify and Apple Music with a 38 million song library and a monthly subscription fee of $9.99 (£9.99).
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