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Pandora Enters The Data Game With Next Big Sound Acquisition

The internet radio service's purchase of the analytics company is the latest entry into big data for streaming companies.

Posted on May 19, 2015, at 2:24 p.m. ET

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Pandora just made a foray into the data analytics game. On Tuesday, the internet radio behemoth purchased Next Big Sound, a company that tracks a song's popularity by analyzing online listening behavior and social media chatter.

Pandora will use Next Big Sound's services to bolster its analytics capabilities, something that streaming companies from Spotify to Rdio are using to differentiate themselves from competitors. That competition is likely to heat up in the next month, as Apple is putting the final touches on its upcoming streaming service, which will reportedly highlight curation as a major feature — currently Pandora's bread and butter.

The purchase is part of a growing trend, as music streaming services flock to snap up data companies. Pandora's purchase follows Spotify's acquisition of the Echo Nest in 2014, and Apple's of Semetric this year. The financial details of Next Big Sound's acquisition are not public, but both Apple and Spotify reportedly paid around $50 million to pick up their data arms.

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