It was merely a rumor. Until now. Various anonymous citations that had started last week were claiming Apple was buying Shazam.
Shazam is an app that pioneers at identifying music, movies, radio, TV shows, magazines and more. To achieve that, it uses its vast database. The app has been available cross-platform. With one touch, it would listen, detect and put music info on-screen. It would link a reference to videos or display purchase links.
The $400,000,000 Deal
In spite of never actually making much profit, Shazam was last valued striking $1 billion. Even so, Apple has acquired it for $400 million. Snapchat and Spotify also expressed their interest in acquiring Shazam.
An Apple spokesperson stated they were thrilled that Shazam would be joining them, deeming Apple Music and Shazam a natural fit.
“We are excited to announce that Shazam has entered into an agreement to become part of Apple. Shazam is one of the highest rated apps in the world and loved by hundreds of millions of users and we can’t imagine a better home for Shazam to enable us to continue innovating and delivering magic for our users.”
Perhaps, this is how Shazam will finally move into music streaming industry.
While the company was valued at $1 billion after its last funding round in 2015, Apple bought Shazam for far less. Shazam had been making only $54 million in revenue last year. Shazam had also had difficulties establishing a viable business model. Shazam becoming an acquisition target was just a matter of time.
Buying Shazam could mean enhancing Apple’s own Apple Music. Shazam could integrate deeper with iOS. That way, it could work as a native song recognition service. It would be similar to Google’s Assistant feature on the Pixel.
Shazam could also provide Apple with valuable visual recognition and augmented reality technology. Such technology may function like optical scanning and what Google Lens provides. Shazam is much more used than Apple Music that also lacks in activity comparing to Spotify.
Came A Long Way
Shazam started back in 1999 as an SMS code service. Its first name was 2580, believe it or not. That was also the number you entered in the UK to access it. Shazam has provided a platform for artists and fans to follow them.
Since then, massively scaled augmented reality kit has become a marketing service. It worked pretty much like Shazam song recognition. You could snap a photo of a tag and get info. It is integrated with Snapchat and Apple’s Siri. That way, Snapchat users are able “recognize music, engage with Shazam content, and send their music and artist discoveries as Snaps to their friends.” Shazam works tightly with Spotify and Apple Music as well. No wonder both expressed their interest in acquiring Shazam.
There is much Apple could use and integrate into its own products, rebrand and improve what they already offer. Let’s not forget that Apple acquired Beats for $3 million back in 2014, which eventually became the foundation for Apple Music.
Shazam is one of the most popular apps in the world with 100 million monthly active users as of August 2014. In October 2014, Shazam announced it was used to identify over 15 billion songs with more than 30 billion Shazam identifications since launch.