AI music tagging platform Cyanite acquires Aptone and plans to build a “universal intelligence that understands, indexes, and recommends the world’s music”

Cologne, Germany. Photo credit: Roman Bürki

Self-proclaimed artificial intelligence “music tagging and search company” Cyanite has announced the acquisition of Aptone, an AI-powered sample classification platform, as the company seeks international growth.

Founded in 2019 and headquartered in Berlin, Cyanite today announced the acquisition of Cologne-based Aptone. According to its website, Cyanite uses AI to speed up tagging, uncover “up to 80% of manual tagging errors” and lay the groundwork for keyword and audio sound searches.

In addition to Bertelsmann’s BMG and RTL, Cyanite’s customers include UMPG Music Solutions, Nettwerk and Synchtank. Aptone, on the other hand, came out in 2021 and, according to its own website, “allowed users to manage and browse audio files in the cloud”. The files involved were “enriched with metadata”, according to the same source.

Now Johannes Giani, co-founder of Aptone, will join Cyanite’s Board of Directors as Director of Information Technology. Senior management says he will “help Cyanite advance its technology and continue to improve and expand its offering to global customers.”

Meanwhile, the cross-acquisition will help the buying company “realize its vision of creating a universal intelligence that understands, indexes, and recommends the music of the world,” according to executives. In particular, Cyanite cited an anticipated improvement in tagging accuracy, which the company expects will “offer a growing opportunity for music publishers to maximize the monetization of their catalogs.”

Given this prediction and the departure of Aptone’s co-founders, with the exception of Giani, it appears that the company will be taken over directly by the older AI developers. It’s unclear if Aptone’s other employees (two to 10 people in all, according to the relevant LinkedIn page) will participate in the post-deal operation, but Aptone’s website states that the platform “no longer available”.

Addressing the transaction, Cyanite CEO Markus Schwarzer (who previously ran Groovecat, an app that automatically matches images to music) emphasized the rapidly expanding song libraries available through streaming services.

“Johannes’ addition to the team comes at a crucial time – there has never been more music than now; We need technology to help us deal with that,” Schwarzer said in part. “Our vision of universal music intelligence has always been clear, and this acquisition allows us to push that vision even further.”

Last week, AI music platform DAACI announced two purchases, and Universal Music Group has partnered with relaxation app Endel to create music with “ethical AI.” Still, numerous artists and professionals are speaking out against the perceived long-term threat posed by the unprecedented and rapidly evolving technology.