Spotify has acquired Tunigo, one of the many music apps that are powered by its API, AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka reported today. The details of the deal aren’t being made public, but the startup will move its staff to either Spotify’s Stockholm or New York offices, as the talent is folded into Spotify’s larger team, Spotify confirmed via email. The Tunigo app will remain available separately for now.
Discovery is the word of the day when it comes to social music apps, with Twitter recently launching its own Twitter Music dedicated mobile and web app after purchasing We Are Hunted. Tunigo’s service is similar, but probably has more in common with apps like Songza and 8tracks, which curate playlists and suggests them to users based on genre, theme and mood. Tunigo is based in Sweden, and has apparently raised around €2.4 million with a staff of 17, also split between Stockholm and New York. The ultimate goal of the company’s mission was to provide a single button that users could hit to get the perfect playlist based on real-time data.
A Spotify spokesperson said that Tunigo has long been an important partner for the company, and points out that Tunigo has been a top ten app since Spotify first launched its app platform back in late November of 2011. “The acquisition fits into our overall strategy around music discovery,” according to the spokesperson, by “basically helping our users make sense of over 20 million tracks.”
In a separate statement from Tunigo CEO and co-founder Nick Holmstén, he explained that the deal made sense for them because they’ve already been working side-by-side with Spotify.
“Tunigo helps users find great music for every moment, and we’ve been working very closely with Spotify over the past few years,” he wrote. “This is the perfect match from a music discovery perspective. We’re passionate about music and technology, and looking forward to further innovating within the music discovery space.”
The first challenge for any company hoping to compete with iTunes on the digital music front is building out a comparably sized library so that users have access to the tracks they want, but once that part is more or less in place, the differentiating factor becomes which service can best help users deal with the crippling problem of overwhelming choice. Music discovery has always been a challenge, long before the rise of digital media and streaming music, but now when your field of selection isn’t just the local record shop, but essentially the whole of history’s recorded music, the problem gets compounded.
In other words, don’t expect this to be the last significant acquisition in this space, as streaming providers and other companies look to build the best discovery engine possible to convince consumers to choose their product over others.
Continue reading here: Spotify Acquires Music Discovery App Tunigo, A Spotify-Powered Songza Competitor
DreamWorks Animation on Wednesday announced it has agreed to acquire YouTube teen network AwesomenessTV, which so far has signed up over 55,000 channels, for approximately $33 million in cash. The media company currently aggregates over 14 million subscribers as well as 800 million video views, and recently extended beyond the mobile platform into television and film.
In addition to the eight-figure price tag, DreamWorks Animation has agreed to make additional contingent cash payments “from time to time” if certain earnings targets are met in 2014 and 2015. The maximum amount is $117 million, showing how important performance will be in this deal.
To increase the chance of those bonuses, AwesomenessTV founder and CEO Brian Robbins plans to stay on and keep growing his company. He will also assume an executive role at the studio to develop a DreamWorks Animation branded digital family channel. Unsurprisingly, Robbins seems excited about the move: “The incredible opportunity to take all the resources of this amazing global brand with beloved character franchises and create a dedicated family channel has extraordinary potential – I can’t wait to get started.”
This looks like it will be a very quick transaction. DreamWorks Animation says it expects it will be completed as soon as this month.
“Awesomeness TV is one of the fastest growing content channels on the Internet today and our acquisition of this groundbreaking venture will bring incredible momentum to our digital strategy,” DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a statement. “Brian Robbins has an extraordinary track record in creating family content both for traditional and new platforms and his expertise in the TV arena will be invaluable as we grow our presence in that space.”
While AwesomenessTV’s main target audience consists of teenagers, its videos span a wide range of content. Categories include beauty, comedy, music, entertainment, and sports.
News of the acquisition first leaked out last night, via “people familiar with the proposed transaction” cited by AllThingsD. That report noted YouTube featured Robbins prominently during its “brandcast” presentation for advertisers a year ago.
Top Image Credit: David McNew/Getty Images
See the original post here: DreamWorks Animation acquires teen-targeted YouTube network AwesomenessTV for $33m
Rocket Internet, the Samwer brothers’ Berlin-based incubator that runs a vast global empire of e-commerce startups, is picking up a new, sizeable investor in Brazil. The Cisneros Group, the Latin American media powerhouse that owns TV, digital, and other assets, is investing up to $20 million in Mobly, a Brazil-based home furnishings site. Victor Kong, chief digital officer of the Cisneros Group and head of its Cisneros Interactive division, says that the first $10 million is coming now, with the company reserving the right to bump that up to $20 million within the year, with the door also open for investing in other Rocket Internet operations along the way.
The Cisneros Group becomes the fourth investor in Mobly, which has also had investment from the Samwers, along with regular Rocket Internet investors Kinnevik and JP Morgan. This latest round of investment will see Moby expanding from Brazil to other countries in the region, leveraging the Cisneros TV and advertising networks to help promote it. It looks like before now there was around $25 million invested in the site, and it has a pre-money valuation of $108 million.
“This acquisition is part of our commitment to diversify and strengthen our network of digital businesses in the areas of e-commerce and digital advertising,” Adriana Cisneros de Griffin, cheif strategy office and vice chairperson of Cisneros, noted in a statement. “Mobly is ready to break into the traditional market sales of furniture and home decor and extend its dominance in Latin America because it has the best selection of high quality goods and customer service and delivery that is known for its excellence.”
This is Cisneros’ first investment not just in a Rocket Internet company, but in a home furnishings site. It’s a lateral move for a company better known as the largest privately-held media company in Latin America, which includes TV assets and RedMas, an online ad network that is Yahoo’s partner in the region. Kong says this is because of a new strategy on the part of the company, spearheaded by Cisneros scion Adriana.
“Adriana is a third-generation Cisneros taking control of the company and I can see her pushing the company forward more here,” says Kong. Other non-media assets include Tropicalia, an eco-friendly real estate operation in the Dominican Republic, where Adriana is CEO. Cisneros’ other e-commerce investments include daily deals site Cuponidad, Latin American-focused crowdfunding site Idea.me.
Kong notes that when a media company in today’s world is thinking about the move to digital and how that will affect its future, e-commerce inevitably will come into the equation. That’s something that others like Conde Nast have also been exploring with their e-commerce investments.
“Adriana’s big question is, what is this company going to look like in 10 years? We all know what is happening with the move to tablets and phones, so we need to be more innovative and move into new spaces,” Kong says.
While the idea of a media company becoming a furniture site investor seems like a leap in one regard, in another it’s actually a no-brainer investment.
Like other countries in the BRIC bloc, Brazil is seeing a rapid growth of its middle class, and a big boom in e-commerce. Brazil, says Kong, accounts for 65% of all e-commerce in the region. Sales in the country grew by 20% in 2012, with home decorating the fastest-growing category.
A site like Mobly, with its emphasis on cost-friendly home furnishings, plays right into that. The site was founded 18 months ago and in 2012, its total revenue was $89.5 million. Now, it sees over $8 million dollars in sales each month, with that number growing rapidly, Kong notes. Like other e-commerce sites, Mobly’s strength comes in the ability to offer consumers a large range of stock, with more than 45,000 SKUs, according to Kong, on offer at any time. Unlike some of Rocket’s other investments into new markets, this one is led by a local team rather than transplants from the Samwers’ German HQ. The three Brazilian co-founders, Victor Noda, Marcelo Marques and Mario Fernandes, as also all co-presidents.
“This is our biggest move into ecommerce so far, but hopefully there will be more to come,” Kong says. He says that Brazil, being the largest e-commerce market in the region, will remain a key focus. As for what may come next for Cisneros, other Rocket holdings in Brazil include sporting goods site Kanui, private shopping club for home goods Westwing, fashion site Dafiti, and discount site CupoNation, among several others.
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