Microsoft today confirmed that it did in fact acquire Groove music app that was available on iOS from the startup Zikera. The news comes several months after Microsoft somewhat mysteriously changed the name of the Xbox Music app to Groove.
“Microsoft acquired Zikera’s Groove music app. We have nothing more to share,” a Microsoft spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.
In a Medium post today the Zikera team revealed some detail about the acquisition, acknowledging that the iOS app is no longer available, but did not say when the deal happened.
“Our journey started back in the days of the iPod,” the team wrote. “While it was a thing of beauty, we still struggled to choose what to play from our beloved music collection. From that instant, we envisioned a music player so intelligent that learns our tastes and habits in order to play the right music at the right time. Then Groove was born, and you made it a success. We are incredibly proud to have delighted you with a rich mobile experience and countless hours of music bliss through the tens of millions of personalized playlists we generated.”
Groove came up with personalized playlists using machine learning. “Since no one has the same taste in music, Groove learns listening habits to bring favorite artists back into rotation and concoct playlists completely personalized for the listener,” Zikera explained in a 2013 statement. An integration with YouTube content was available.
The Zikera team members’ LinkedIn profiles mention that 1.5 million users downloaded the Groove app from Apple’s App Store.
Zikera was founded in 2009 and based in the Canadian city of Montreal.