In December of last year, Amazon made a low-key acquisition of Snackable AI, an audio content discovery engine based in Estonia. The purpose of this acquisition was to enhance Amazon’s podcast features, as reported by the New York Post.
According to an email from Amazon to TechCrunch, the Snackable AI team has joined Amazon Music to contribute to ongoing podcast projects. The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.
Mari Joller, the founder and CEO of Snackable AI, is now serving as an AI and machine learning product leader at Amazon Music, according to her LinkedIn profile. Her role involves leading a team focused on developing AI-powered products for Amazon Music Podcasts’ customers.
Established in 2018, Snackable AI specialized in utilizing AI technology to effortlessly add structure and metadata to video and audio content, including AI-generated chapters and highlights. Their technology provides a quick and efficient overview for content consumption.
Joller’s LinkedIn profile states that Snackable AI joined Amazon with the aim of continuing to innovate and explore new experiences for Amazon Music Podcasts’ customers. Prior to the acquisition, Snackable AI had secured $3.1 million in funding, as reported by Crunchbase.
Amazon ventured into the podcast space in 2020 when it introduced podcasts to its Music platform. Since then, the company has been expanding its offerings and introducing new features, such as synchronized transcripts. In November, Amazon made most of the top podcasts on its service available ad-free for Prime members. Additionally, the Amazon Music app was updated with a “Podcast Previews” feature, enabling users to listen to short clips and discover new podcasts of interest.
Simultaneously, Amazon began offering Prime subscribers access to a full music catalog with 100 million songs, a significant increase from the previous selection of 2 million songs. This strategic move aimed to attract subscribers from competing music services like Apple Music and Spotify.
Amazon’s acquisition of Snackable AI coincided with other major companies, including Microsoft and Google, racing to incorporate AI-powered features into their products, following the launch and success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
During a recent quarterly earnings call, Amazon, among other tech companies, highlighted the potential of AI. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy revealed plans to develop a more advanced and versatile large language model (LLM) to power the voice assistant Alexa.