Apple Buys Shazam: What It Means for You

James Marshall
December 14, 2017

Apple is reportedly near to acquire music recognition app Shazam for about $400m.

Apple wouldn't divulge the terms of the deal, but various reports put the price tag at $400 million.

It's also worth noting that Apple could also have easily built these capabilities itself, but perhaps at the reported price saw some value in the company as a whole, namely its brand and its expertise. Shazam was valued at a billion dollars two years ago. "Many of these so-called unicorns are of course fakies", Mark Tluszcz, co-founder of VC firm Mangrove Capital Partners and chairman of website building service Ltd. "The case of Shazam will serve as a stark warning to other companies".

Apple Music's future plans for the hit-predicting Shazam are unclear; Shazam searches now funnel users to either purchase the searched song on Apple's iTunes or stream it on Apple Music.

While Shazam has been popular with customers, it struggled turning its clever music service into a business that justified its valuation.

According to tech blog Techcrunch, the iPhone maker is close to a deal to buy Shazam, the United Kingdom company founded in 1999 that allows users to identify any song, tv show or movies in seconds by listening to an audio clip.

"We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple", the company said in a statement announcing the acquisition.

The US technology giant isn't revealing its motivations beyond saying that it has "exciting plans in store". According to the BBC, Shazam makes most of its money from commissions paid out by the iTunes store.

Another British start-up, Blippar, has already demonstrated that merging real-world object recognition and AR has uses beyond advertising - it offers a way to show information about people seen standing nearby.

One other thought: While Shazam has played up its ability to do more than just recognize a song that's playing - it has a "visual Shazam" capability that lets you use your camera to ID objects - my hunch is that Apple is interested, first and foremost, in Shazam's core utility.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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