Apple purchases music identifying app Shazam for $400 million

Apple close to buying Shazam

Apple close to buying Shazam

If you haven't already integrated Apple Music, Spotify or another music streaming service into your everyday life, you might be forced to in the next couple of years.

INSKEEP: At first, you would call a number on your cellphone and get a message back with the song title. It became and remains one of the most-downloaded apps. "Apple just doesn't have the same amount of data about listening tastes as Spotify, meaning it can't drive recommendations with as high a degree of accuracy and precision". For Apple, the owner of iTunes, this insight into user browsing, purchasing and historic preferences in regards to music is well worth the cost of acquiring Shazam.

In a statement, Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said Shazam 'is used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, across multiple platforms.

Apple has not disclosed any financial details of the acquisition but according to early rumors from TechCrunch the deal was valued at $300 million.


Shazam has a long history in music detection but it became widely recognized after the introduction of their iPhone app almost 10 years ago.

Apple has made no secret about its ambitions in the AR space, with CEO Tim Cook describing the technology as more profound than virtual reality (VR). "We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam".

Apple is lagging behind its big rivals when it comes to smart speakers and digital assistants.

Hence, when Apple confirmed on Monday (Dec. 11) that it acquired Shazam - after a competitive bidding process that reportedly included Snap and Spotify - the dent it created in the music industry was equal parts financial and cultural. Spotify, which pays Shazam a referral fee every time a listener is directed from Shazam to the Spotify app, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Since the days of the iPod, music has always been a priority for the company. Ever since the launch of iTunes in 2001, the company has invested heavily in remaining relevant in the fast-changing music business. Music discovery's shift from analogue (What's that song playing in the club/on the radio/TV/jukebox?) to digital may be progressing at a much slower rate than Spotify and Apple Music would have you believe, but it's still moving inexorably that way.

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