The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Spotify’s announcement was made on Monday, June 13.
Providing expressive and realistic artificial voices
Founded in 2018 by Zeena Qureshi and John Flynn, Sonantic (previously, Speak AI) aims to disrupt the entertainment and gaming voice industry. It has built an AI-powered platform that creates compelling, nuanced and realistic voice models.
Sonantic offers voice acting on-demand, which is the ability to create a specific type of character in terms of accent, tone, personality, gender, and emotional state. The company’s human-quality text-to-speech system is provided by an API and a graphical user interface tool that lets synthetic voice actors be sculpted, directed and edited similar to human actors.
The services provided by the company benefit game studios as it provides faster iteration cycles at an affordable cost by reducing logistical expenses and has voice models that are ready to perform.
In a joint statement, Sonantic’s co-founders Zeena Qureshi and John Flynn, say, “We’re looking forward to joining Spotify and continuing to build exciting voice experiences. We believe in the power voice has and its ability to foster a deeper connection with listeners around the world, and we know we can be better than ever on the world’s largest audio platform.”
Aim of this acquisition
In a blog post, Spotify says that it has seen numerous potential areas for text-to-speech capabilities across its platform, and believes that high-quality voice will be critical in boosting the company’s share of listening in the long run.
For instance, while consumers aren’t looking at their devices, Spotify may employ speech technologies to provide context about impending suggestions. Using speech in these situations can help break down barriers to new audio experiences and offer up even more possibilities.
Ziad Sultan, Spotify’s VP of Personalisation, says, “We’re really excited about the potential to bring Sonantic’s AI voice technology onto the Spotify platform and create new experiences for our users. This integration will enable us to engage users in a new and even more personalised way.”
Sonantic’s founders, in a blog post, said, “We’ve created a powerful platform that has transcended other AI voice technologies, allowing creators to generate stunningly realistic voices that can flirt, cry, and shout. With our platform, we’ve given entertainment professionals and businesses new ways to bring characters to life and enabled them to tap into custom voices. This can be seen through our work with Val Kilmer to reclaim his voice and our partnership with Mercedes-Benz AG to enhance the expression of their Hey Mercedes voice assistant.”
Brief about Spotify
Founded in 2008 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, Spotify is a commercial music streaming service that provides restricted digital content from a range of record labels and artists.
The company discovers, manages and shares over 82 million tracks, including more than four million podcast titles, for free. Through its Premium service, it provides access to exclusive features for music, including improved sound quality, and an on-demand, offline, and ad-free music listening experience.
Currently, the company claims to be the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service with 422 million users, including 182 million subscribers, across 183 markets. As of 2021, Spotify has paid over $30B in royalties to the music industry, including over $7B in 2021 alone.