Dedicated music fans offer a large market opportunity, but nothing compared to the broader consumer markets. That realization is increasingly driving music tech, as innovators seek to build broader businesses with higher valuations. The Echo Nest stuck a toe in those waters today with the announcement that its Dynamic Music Data solution will power Nuance voice recognition capabilities for music on a broad range of devices including smartphones, tablets, cars and computers.
Nuance builds popular voice recognition products like Dragon; and now The Echo Nest will come baked in.
Expect The Echo Nest to find more creative uses for it's technology, as are other smart companies in music tech. Shazam, which started as a music recognition app, is now powering audio recognition for advertisers. Rap Genius may bill itself as a place to "Discover The Meaning Of Rap Lyrics", but it's likely to evolve to offer crowdsourced annotations of data far beyond music.
Music analytics and marketing platforms can easily shift to serve the broader marketplace. A musician web site platform can be reconfigured to serve actors or real estate salesman.
Music tech is a sexy, if sometime difficult. sector for founders and innovators to experiment in and launch. But for many startups, its also just the opening note.