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Apple buys Shazam, deal reportedly worth $400 million

Apple has acquired music recognition service Shazam, the company announced on Monday. Although the price has not been disclosed, Techcrunch has quoted sources who estimate the deal to be worth around $400 million.

Shazam helps users identify songs, movies or TV Shows that are being played, by recording short audio clips through its app. The app has over 1 billion downloads across all platforms.

In a statement provided to the media, the company said, “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.”

Techcrunch reports that the deal had been in the works for about five months and Shazam had also had talks with other companies including Snapchat and Spotify.

The reported deal of $400 million is significantly lower than the $1 billion dollar valuation that Shazam had received during its last funding round. The company had struggled with finding a viable business model, reporting only $54 million in revenue in 2016.

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No plans for the acquisition yet

Apple hasn’t announced what it plans to do with it’s newest acquisition, but Shazam’s technology could be leveraged by the company’s music streaming platform Apple Music.

At present the app lets people capture an audio clip of music that is playing and it recognizes the song and the artist. The result page of the app also offers links to hear or purchase the song on YouTube, Google Play Music, Spotify and Apple Music.

Shazam is a huge source of referrals for both Apple Music and it’s primary competitor Spotify, with both sharing 1 million clicks per day from the app. This deal may allow Apple to tilt the balance in the favour of its own service by either stopping or deprioritizing referrals to competition.

In March, the company also launched an augmented reality platform. Apple could use this technology to improve ARKit and try to compete with Google Lens. The deal should close in the coming weeks pending regulatory approval.

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Writes about consumer technology, social media, digital services and tech policy. Is a gadget freak, gamer and Star Wars nerd.

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