Spotify Acquires Cutting-Edge AI Voice Modeling Company Sonantic

Sonantic is bringing a slew of new voices to the Spotify platform.

Co-founded by Zeena Qureshi and John Flynn in 2018, the AI voice company has been acquired by the streaming giant, TechCrunch reports.

Sonantic's technology addresses two key functions. First, the company has the capabilities to produce high quality text-to-speech results fit for a professional studio. And perhaps more intriguingly, Sonantic enables the creation of vocal models based on samples.

The company has also worked with professional actors to synthesize their voice into a programmable format. Using this program, actors can complete multiple voiceover projects simultaneously without actually having to be present. Each time their vocal program is utilized commercially, the actors receive a royalty payment. One such example of the company's efforts in this area appeared in Top Gun: Maverick, wherein Sonantic modeled Val Kilmer's voice using AI.

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As Music Business Worldwide notes, the acquisition coincides with Spotify's broader efforts to capture market share in the $70 billion audiobook space.

"Voice is a huge market and we know there are many use cases from advertising and call centres to robots and audiobooks," reads a 2021 blog post published by Qureshi in which he advocates for audiobook development as a relevant use case for the cutting-edge tech. "However, entertainment voice requires the highest bar of quality. This is what really differentiates us from other speech companies. We're quality first."

The terms of Spotify's acquisition have not been disclosed at the time of writing. 

Tagsterms:Artificial IntelligenceSpotifyBy Cameron Sunkel

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