The announcement came earlier this week that the online subscription service of the future (if you're to believe word-of-mouth) Spotify and music discovery provider Music Nest have tied the knot, creating what some believe to be the ultimate combination for online music.
Spotify, if you've been following this or any other music blog, is the subscription music service that everyone loves, but isn't available in the US yet because of licensing issues. Music Nest, started by a pair of MIT PHDs, is a music intelligence platform that scans the internet to create a recommendation and affinity matching experience for the listener.
If you haven't caught on yet, "music discovery" technology is the holy grail for online music. In the days when radio was king, music discovery happened fairly easily - the DJ discovered the music for you and you trusted his or her taste (like in the early days of FM), or the listener discovered the music by herself by flipping stations.
It's not that easy with online music though, since there are so many sources of music content that the listener becomes easily overwhelmed. And as the old salesman's adage goes, "If you give the customer too many choices, he won't buy anything."
This is why music discovery is such a hot technology right now. By analyzing your music choices, the technology will get an idea of what you like and determine what to suggest. While Apple's Genius and Pandora radio each do something similar with catalog content, the pinnacle of music discovery is when a discovery engine can suggest new music rather than catalog. Music Nest has been rumored to be the engine with the greatest potential, and with their new-found partnership with Spotify (a service that everybody who's tried it loves), we may see a service on the rise that can finally give iTunes a run for its money.