Apple Acquires Music Recognition App Shazam
Last week, it was reported that Apple was on the verge of acquiring of Shazam. On the 11th of December, Apple confirmed the acquisition of the popular music recognition app, Shazam. While neither of the concerned companies disclosed the value of the deal, a report by TechCrunch claims that the deal is worth US $400 million and that Snap and Spotify were potential buyers as well.
Acknowledging the acquisition, Apple said 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. We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today’s agreement.
Shazam, one of the most popular music recognition app was launched back in 1999. Since then, the company has claimed that the Shazam app has been downloaded over 1 billion times and its users have used the app to recognise songs over 30 billion times. Shazam released a statement as well, seemingly confirming that the standalone Shazam app will continue functioning:
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.
Shazam was one of the first few services that took advantage of AI and offered it to a broader audience. As Apple prepares to invest big in AI and make its AI assistant, Siri smarter than the competition, this acquisition might go a long way in doing so.
Google Assistant, of all the AI assistant, might be the smartest in terms of music as of now, but, with Shazam onboard Siri can definitely compete and even come out on top in the battle of AI assistants. Even some analysts believe that Shazam could add significant value not only with its own service but also by making Siri smarter about music.
Music is an important part of Apple’s business, particularly as the company prepares to launch its HomePod smart speaker. Slated for a late-2017 launch, the smart speaker will now be launched in early 2018. Apple Music, Apple’s subscription-based music streaming service has roughly 30 million subscribers which is not even a half of what its direct rival Spotify has. Spotify has 60 million paying users as of July and 80 million more on its free service.
Analysts are saying that this acquisition is similar to one that Spotify made in 2014 when it purchased a music intelligence firm called The Echo Nest. The Echo Nest creates technology that generates music recommendations which is one of the most important features of Spotify.
Apple’s entry into AI and now the acquisition of Shazam means that Apple is willing to take on Spotify for the number one spot. As of now, the Shazam app redirects users to either Apple Music or Spotify to listen to the recognised song but, that might change in a bit and that might lead to a potential user acquisition.