Companies like Echonest, recently acquired by Spotify, and Gracenote have long since offered music meta-data that others can incorporate into their apps. Consumer-facing services, such as Last.fm, also offer an API, and late last year Pandora competitor Senzari added MusicGraph to the mix.
Today another music startup is throwing its hat into the music meta-data ring. Dublin-based Seevl has released an API for developers to let them easily add music recommendations and artist data to their apps. The new offering gives app makers access to some of the underlying technology that currently powers the Seevl consumer-facing app, which is a cross-service music discovery offering that gives music recommendations and lets you build ‘mix tapes’, amongst a plethora of music-related features.
The Seevl API is powered by the startup’s own music meta-data graph, which itself is built on top of Freebase, Wikipedia and MusicBrainz, and uses Seevl’s in-house semantic technologies and recommendation and search algorithms — both founders, Alexandre Passant and Julie Letierce, previously worked at the renowned Semantic Web R&D lab DERI.
I asked Passant, CEO/CTO of Seevl, who the new API is aimed at? “Broadly speaking, anyone looking for music and artist-related meta-data,” he says. “The main target being music-related startups/businesses (from streaming to e-commerce) looking for a turn-key solution to enable search, discovery, recommendations, and personalization on their platform, or wanting raw data to build their own system on top of our API.”
Or, as another example, an app could display fact-sheets about every artist, genre and record label that goes beyond the traditional plain biography that music apps generally provide, thus increasing engagement.
“One feature that we provide (and that we haven’t seen in any competitor) is the ability to explain the relations between two artists. That is particularly useful for bringing context to recommendations (if you like X you should like Y *because* …) or to build graphical interfaces for music discovery,” adds Passant.
And whilst the API doesn’t currently afford the ability to offer personalised music recommendations on its own, Passant says Seevl has built such functionality into its core product and is willing to help, should a developer wish to go down that route. “It’s not natively provided by the API, but that’s something we can help on the integration side, as we’ve done it for seevl.fm,” he explains.
The Seevl API is free to use for non-commercial hacks/personal use, but for commercial use is also one way the startup plans to generate revenue. Developers, developers, developers…