Spotify acquires Sonantic, AI Voice startup

Spotify announced on Monday that it will acquire Sonantic, a technology company that specializes in creating hyper-realistic artificial sounds.

In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Spotify said Sonantic’s technology can help the audio company better communicate with users when they’re not looking at their screens and help lower other barriers to entry for new listeners.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

London-based Sonantic was founded in 2018 by Zeena Kuresh and John Flynn. The company caters to professionals in the entertainment industry and in 2020 it attracted €2.3 million (approximately $2.4 million) in seed funding. Sonantic also worked with Val Kilmer, who was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent a tracheotomy in 2014 to develop an AI sound model based on previous audio recordings of Kilmer’s voice.

“I am grateful to the entire team at Sonantic for masterfully restoring my voice in ways I could never have imagined,” Kilmer said in a statement last year. “As humans, the ability to communicate is the foundation of our existence, and the effects of throat cancer have made it difficult for others to understand me. Being able to tell my story with an authentic and familiar voice is an incredibly special gift.”

Sonantic’s upcoming acquisition of Spotify could provide the audio giant with a new revenue stream if it maintains and enhances the startup’s existing partnership with entertainment and gaming studios. The Stockholm-based audio company is also gearing up to complete its upcoming acquisition of the Findaway audiobook platform, as the company plans to position audiobooks as a third-party focus alongside music and podcasts.

Source: Hollywood Reporter