Apple has confirmed its acquisition of music recognition app Shazam to bolster its efforts in the music business. This is the first major acquisition since the company purchased Beats in 2014 for nearly $3 billion. Apple hasn’t disclosed the price it paid for Shazam, but media reports estimate it to be around $400 million.
Shazam, the London based startup is known for music and image recognition that allows its users to identify any song, movie or a TV show from the audio playing around them. Apple is said to have been exploring a deal with Shazam for about five months and the acquisition came after other contenders such as Spotify and Snap dropped out. The catalyst for the deal is believed to lack of clear message from Snap, which has had a volatile trade since it got listed on New York Stock Exchange. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker has not delved out details on how it plans to use Shazam’s assets post acquisition.
“We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple. Since the launch of the App Store, Shazam has consistently ranked as one of the most popular apps for iOS. Today, it’s used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, across multiple platforms. Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users. We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today’s agreement,” the company said in a statement shared with TechCrunch.
With Shazam under its belt, Apple will first get rid of the commission it pays to the service when users land on iTunes Store to purchase the content discovered on the platform. It also stands to benefit from Shazam’s augmented reality platform which has been the core focus for Apple lately.
Shazam’s AR platform launched in 2015 and allows users to scan magazines, books, posters, advertisements and launch 3D animations, product visualizations and even 360-degree videos. Apple could integrate Shazam’s AR tech with its own ARKit platform or create a Google Lens rival that works with Siri.
It remains unclear whether Apple plans to shutdown the app, which could affect music streaming platforms like Spotify and Google Play Music. Shazam surpassed 1 billion downloads in September last year and the actual install base could be significantly higher. The acquisition should lead to tighter integration between Apple Music and Shazam and we will probably some features added to ARKit as well.