Apple has confirmed reports that it is buying music recognition company Shazam for about $400 million. Shazam is an app that identifies music, movies, TV Shows, among other things, by listening to an audio clip or a visual fragment, which is something that can potentially improve Apple’s music streaming service and possibly other products and services as well.
Apple announced that Shazam will join the company via a deal between Apple and Shazam, reported to be worth $400 million, which is interesting considering Shazam had a valuation of over $1 billion during its last funding round in 2015. Moreover, Shazam has since grown to be more than just a media recognition tool today. It also features augmented reality technology that could be one of the reason behind Apple’s attraction it has been investing heavily in artificial reality, AR, in recent years, especially with the launch of its ARKit platform this year.
Apple said on Monday that, “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.”
Shazam is already integrated with Apple’s Siri voice assistant. When asking Siri to identify a song, the assistant pulls up the result through the help of Shazam. With the acquisition, Apple will look to integrate the media recognition software even further, potentially improving not just Apple Music but Siri, HomePod and AirPods as well. We could also see future iPhones and iPads come with the Always Listening feature of the Pixel 2 phones that allows the device to passively listen to music in the background and display what is being played on the screen all the time. To recall, Siri in the past could automatically recognize songs using Shazam, but Apple removed the feature to only allow that when the user invoked Siri, perhaps due to privacy reasons.