Update: December 11, 2017
According to an announcement received by several news outlets today, Apple has officially confirmed its acquisition of music recognition app Shazam. Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr shared the company's enthusiasm for the acquisition in a statement:
"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."
December 8, 2017
According to an article by Ingrid Lunden at TechCrunch, sources say Apple is very close to acquiring extremely popular music and audio recognition app Shazam. If you've never used the app before, it's fairly simple — you just hold your phone or other device as close as you can to the source of the song, TV show, film, or advertisement you're trying to identify, and Shazam will tell you what it is, usually within a matter of seconds. After that, it will display other media or content related to whatever you identified. Lunden discussed the ins and outs of the deal as it was relayed to TechCrunch:
We have heard that the deal is being signed this week, and will be announced on Monday, although that could always change. One source describes the deal as in the nine figures; another puts it at around £300 million ($401 million). We are still asking around. Notably, though, both of the numbers we've heard are lower than the $1.02 billion (according to PitchBook) post-money valuation the company had in its last funding round, in 2015.
Though Shazam at its core is an audio recognition platform, since its genesis in 1999 it has grown to be so much more than that, and now has ties to multiple music streaming and social media services. Lunden explains:
Since those early days, it's launched a number of related services. Artists on Shazam lets you follow famous people and see what music they are Shazamming. Its augmented reality brand marketing service lets you discover content based on pictures that you snap with the app ... It also integrates with other apps like Snapchat and Apple's Siri, and it currently sends lots of traffic to other music apps like Spotify and Apple Music, which pays it when those clicks convert to purchases.
In any case, Shazam's popularity has only increased in recent years, and would tie pretty seamlessly into Apple's current entertainment-centric ventures and future plans regarding music, AR, and who knows what else. And, as Lunden mentions we've learned from Apple's acquisition of Beats in 2014 (which was the building block for the now insanely popular Apple Music), it's fair to say that pretty much any major service Apple touches will only continue to rise in use and popularity — even if part of it takes a new form.
What do you think Apple's plans are for the Shazam platform? Speculate with us in the comments!