Amazon quietly acquired Snackable AI audio content discovery engine to power its podcast projects

Amazon quietly acquired New York-based audio content discovery engine Snackable AI last December to improve its podcast features, first reported by New York Post. The tech giant told TechDigiPro via email on Friday that Snackable’s AI team has joined Amazon Music to work on existing podcast projects. The finanacial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Founder and AI CEO of Snackable Mari Joller he is now a product leader for artificial intelligence and machine learning at Amazon Music, according to his LinkedIn profile. His profile notes that he leads “a team of engineers, applied scientists, and computational linguists to create AI-based products for Amazon Music Podcasts customers.”

Founded in 2018, Snackable AI specialized in using AI to easily add structure and metadata to video and audio with AI-generated chapters, summaries and more. The company’s technology provides an “at-a-glance” view to make content consumption fast and efficient.

Joller’s LinkedIn profile says that Snackable AI teamed up with Amazon to “continue to innovate and explore new experiences on behalf of Amazon Music Podcasts customers.” Snackable AI raised $3.1 million in funding before being acquired by Amazon, according to crunchbase.

Amazon added podcasts to its music platform in 2020 and has been building out the offering and adding new features like synced transcriptions ever since. Last November, the company made most of its service’s best podcasts available ad-free for Prime members. The Amazon Music app has also been updated to include a new “Podcast Previews” feature that allows customers to listen to short clips as a way to discover new podcasts they might like.

At the same time, Amazon began offering Prime subscribers a full music catalog of 100 million songs, instead of the previous more limited selection of just 2 million songs. The move was seen as a way for Amazon Music to attract some subscribers to other music services, such as Apple Music or Spotify.

The tech giant closed the acquisition at a time when major companies including Microsoft and Google were racing to implement AI-powered features in products following the launch and subsequent popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Amazon was among many other tech companies touting the potential of AI during its latest quarterly earnings call last month. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy revealed during a call with investors that the company is building a more “pervasive and capable” large language model (LLM) to power Alexa.


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