Shazam, the app that listens and recognizes what song is playing, has been a cutting-edge product since the company’s inception in 1999. The company’s widely useful and universally in-demand audio recognition technology has put them at the forefront of the space for years, and made Shazam one of the most popular apps in the world. To “Shazam” is now widely recognized and utilized as a verb in conversation.
According to a report from TechCrunch, the British company is in the process of finalizing a deal to sell Shazam to U.S. tech giant Apple for sums estimated to be north of $400M. The move will allow Apple to further improve their music delivery capabilities and make for a more immersive listening experience for their customers.
In recent years, the company has extended the technology beyond helping you remember “who sings that song that’s playing right now” 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 pay Shazam when those clicks convert to purchases. The Shazam app is now used as an interactive tool for advertisers, bars and restaurants, music venues and more. Shazam’s augmented reality brand marketing service lets you discover content based on pictures that you snap with the app. “You came for music, stay to experience McDonald’s Karaoke, MTN Dew VR Racing and much more,” is the company’s pitch on this feature.
It’s not clear which of these operations will carry on post-acquisition, and which of these might be something that Apple would integrate into its own business (and how), but it’s notable that much of what Shazam does is very synergistic with what Apple apple already has in place and in the works. It’s likely that the technology will be used to attract more users to the Apple Music platform.
This is not the first large-scale acquisition Apple has made in the music space in recent memory. In 2014, Apple acquired Beats for more than $3B, and absorbed Beats’ executive team–including Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine, and Trent Reznor–into the Apple family to continue pushing the limits of the product/service they created with the help of the tech monolith. Beats became the basis for Apple Music, which has roughly 30 million users as of this Fall (Spotify has 60 million paying customers, and 140 million overall).
We are excited to see what the inventive minds at Apple will be able to think up to improve the music listening experience using Shazam’s unique technology.