Apple is in talks to buy music recognition app Shazam in a deal that is likely to be announced before the end of this week. If the acquisition goes ahead, it will allow Apple to incorporate Shazam’s technology into its iOS operating system.
Currently Shazam has partnerships with Snapchat, Spotify as well as Apple and makes much of its revenue from commissions paid to it for referrals to Apple’s iTunes Store.
As Apple faces increasing competition from Amazon and Spotify, a takeover of Shazam would make business sense – thus cutting out the need to pay Shazam as an intermediary.
If the deal goes through Shazam would no longer refer users to Apple Music competitor Spotify
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Shazam has evolved considerably since it was set up by four US expats in 1999. Pre-smartphones, users had to text “2580” on their phone and hold it up to the music to use Shazam. They then received an SMS message telling them the song title and the name of the artist. Now if you like the music you are hearing, you start the app and tap the Shazam button. A digital fingerprint of the audio is created and within seconds, matched against Shazam’s database of millions of tracks. You are then given the name of the track and the artist and information such as lyrics, video, artist biography, concert tickets and recommended tracks. The app also lets you buy or listen to the song using one of its “partners’ services”.
Shazam says it has more than 100 million monthly users worldwide.
(Sub: Martin Steers)