Spotify buys Irish mobile music app Soundwave

Posted 20 January, 2016

  • Soundwave focuses on using technology to understand people’s listening patterns
  • Acquisition sees “talented and like-minded teams” join Spotify family

Music streaming giant, Spotify has acquired the Irish startup Soundwave. The company was founded by UCD engineering graduate Brendan O’Driscoll and UCD computer science graduate Aidan Sliney in 2012.

Soundwave is focused on developing innovative technology and products to aid music discovery. Its Soundwave app helps users to discover new music, share songs, and connect with like-minded music fans. It has been downloaded over 1.5 million times in 190 countries in 14 languages since its launch.

As part of the acquisition, Soundwave’s team of 10 employees will join Spotify’s offices in Sweden and San Francisco.

At the same time, Spotify announced that it had also acquired the New York based Cord Project. The company’s flagship product, Cord, is a simple, one tap voice messaging platform built for phones, tablets and watches on iOS and Android.

“Spotify is laser focused on delivering innovative and engaging music discovery experiences to delight our millions of users,”said Shiva Rajaraman, Spotify’s VP of Product.

“The acquisitions of both Cord Project and Soundwave give us the opportunity to bring two extremely talented and like-minded teams into the Spotify family. We’re excited to welcome them on board, and are looking forward to their contributions in shaping the future of music engagement.”

Brendan O’Driscoll and Aidan Sliney, the University College Dublin graduates who founded Soundwave, were shortlisted in the emerging category of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in 2014. The Soundwave app has also received endorsements from celebrities including actor, Stephen Fry and Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak.

O’Driscoll told RTE News that Soundwave has been focusing on using technology to understand people’s listening patterns, and it is this insight in particular which has attracted Spotify to the company.

“The music industry is changing, and it’s changing fast. We think now is the perfect time for Soundwave to join forces with Spotify, the number one music streaming service in the world and the perfect home for us to continue our mission,” the company said in a statement.

“We owe our gratitude to a lot of people for helping us reach this milestone today and we’re excited. But we’re even more excited about hitting our next milestone and the one after that again.”

By: Dominic Martella, UCD University Relations