Last December, Amazon acquired Snackable AI, a New York-based audio content discovery engine, to enhance its podcast offerings, according to a report by the New York Post. Amazon has confirmed that the Snackable AI team has now joined Amazon Music to work on existing podcast projects, but the terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Mari Joller, Snackable AI’s founder and CEO, is now an AI and machine learning product leader at Amazon Music, where she leads a team of engineers, applied scientists, and computational linguists to develop AI-powered products for Amazon Music Podcasts’ customers. Before the acquisition, Snackable AI raised $3.1 million in funding.
Snackable AI, which was founded in 2018, specializes in using AI to easily add structure and metadata to video and audio content. The company’s technology generates chapters, highlights, and other features to provide a quick and efficient way of consuming content. According to Joller’s LinkedIn profile, Snackable AI joined Amazon “to continue innovating and exploring new experiences on behalf of Amazon Music Podcasts’ customers.”
Amazon has been expanding its podcast offerings since adding them to its Music platform in 2020. The company has introduced new features, such as synched transcripts and a “Podcast Previews” function that allows customers to listen to short clips to discover new podcasts. In November, Amazon made most of its top podcasts available without ads for Prime members. In addition to these podcast-related developments, Amazon now offers Prime subscribers a full music catalogue with 100 million songs, up from the previous selection of just 2 million pieces.
The acquisition of Snackable AI took place at a time when major tech companies, including Microsoft and Google, were rapidly implementing AI-powered features into their products, following the launch and popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Amazon is also focused on the potential of AI, as demonstrated in CEO Andy Jassy’s recent statement that the company is developing a more “generalized and capable” large language model to power Alexa.
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