Spotify buys Kinzen from Mark Little and Áine Kerr

Former RTE journalist Mark Little and Áine Kerr, a former political reporter at the Irish Independent, have sold their media start-up Kinzen to music streaming service Spotify.

Potify said Kinzen’s technology and deep expertise will help it more effectively deliver a safe and enjoyable experience on our platform around the world. The platform faced massive backlash earlier this year when rock legend Neil Young pulled his massive catalog of music from the platform in protest at the misinformation he says was being spread by Spotify’s biggest podcaster, Joe Rogan.

During the Covid pandemic, Kinzen was tasked here by the Ministry of Health to monitor and advise on the spread of misinformation about the pandemic or efforts to contain it.

Mark Little was senior on-air journalist at RTE for two decades before building Storyful, a media company that verified material shared on social media platforms, which he sold to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp in 2013 for reportedly €18 million.

Áine Kerr was a senior member of the Storyful team, and the two co-founded Kinzen in 2017, with an initial goal of providing clients with customized news feeds from multiple publishers, but then branched out into the evolving business of monitoring and combating online misinformation to relocate.

According to Spotify, the Irish company’s unique technology is particularly suited to podcasts and audio formats, “making its value to Spotify clear and unmatched”.

“We have long had a powerful and collaborative partnership with Kinzen and his exceptional team. By working together, we can further improve our ability to detect and combat harmful content in a way that better respects local context,” said Dustee Jenkins, global head of public affairs at Spotify. “This investment expands Spotify’s approach to platform security and underscores how seriously we take our commitment to creating a safe and enjoyable experience for developers and users.”

Kinzen has been working with Spotify since 2020, initially focusing on the integrity of election-related content and later on misinformation, disinformation and hate speech. Spotify buys Kinzen from Mark Little and Áine Kerr

Fry Electronics Team

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