May 19, 2015:Pandora to buy music analytics firm Next Big Sound

Pandora wp8Streaming music service Pandora is buying music analytics firm Next Big Sound, for an undisclosed sum. The personal-radio firm announced plans for the acquisition this afternoon.

“The deal marks the latest step in Pandora’s commitment to become an indispensable partner to the music industry and accelerates its strategy of harnessing data for the benefit of music makers,” explained Pandora’s announcement of the deal.

The acquisition, which hasn’t yet closed, comes a few months after Apple bought Next Big Sound’s rival Semetric and its Musicmetric analytics service.

(And by the way, those deals mean both of the analytics services used by Spotify to get stats out to labels and artists now belong to companies that are, in different ways, its direct rivals.)

“The combination of Pandora’s listening data and Next Big Sound’s analytical capabilities will create a vital source of data,” said Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews in a statement.

“Next Big Sound shares our passion for music and respect for those who make it. I’m incredibly excited to unleash the combined potential of our two companies and have the Next Big Sound team join us.”

For the past six years our mission has been to transform the music industry through making social, streaming, and sales data useful to artists and their teams,” explained a post on Next Big Sound’s website.

“There is no better way to further our mission than to become part of the leading music service, Pandora, whose belief in the infinite power of music aligns completely with our own.”

Pandora says that Next Big Sound will bolster the analytics that its new parent company has been offering to artists – in part to stave off regular complaints about the size of its payouts to musicians and songwriters.

Next Big Sound will slot in to Pandora’s recently-launched Artist Marketing Platform, while Pandora will be pumping its own data into Next Big Sound’s platform. “Clients, partners, and artists – rest assured it’s business as usual at Next Big Sound. We’re incredibly excited to tap into the data, resources, and expertise of Pandora,” explained the blog post.

What’s unclear for now is whether other streaming services – Spotify in particular – will be happy contributing their own data to Next Big Sound, if they see Pandora as a rival.

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Stuart Dredge
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