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Apple reportedly buys Asaii, a startup hunting for the 'next Justin Bieber'

Asaii could help Apple Music battle Spotify.

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Apple Music is looking for ways to stand out from other streaming services.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple may be looking to spin new music. The iPhone maker has acquired music analytics startup Asaii, Axios reported Sunday.

Asaii builds tools for the music industry and says on its website that its "algorithms are able to find the next Justin Bieber, before anyone else." The company also offers software powers music recommendations and creates playlists.

The deal was worth less than $100 million, an unnamed source told Axios. In addition to boosting Apple Music recommendations, the move could help Apple challenge Spotify's efforts to work with smaller artists and music labels, according to Axios.

Apple declined to comment. Asaii didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple Music and Spotify have emerged as the leaders in the race to dominate subscription music. Spotify remains the biggest streaming service in both listeners and subscribers, but Apple Music has taken the lead in the US. With similar music libraries, both companies are looking for ways to differentiate themselves. Last week, Apple linked up with Genius to provide lyrics to "thousands" of songs on Apple Music. 

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