11 December, 2017

Apple is acquiring music recognition app Shazam

As Spotify continues to inch towards a public listing, Apple is making a move of its own to step up its game in music services.

The company’s CEO Rich Riley noted earlier this year, that operating at or near profitability is the intention as it’s been growing; and he also hinted that the company was, as a result, likely an acquisition target.


Its augmented reality brand marketing service lets you discover content based on pictures that you snap with the app. “You came for music, stay to experience McDonald’s Karaoke, MTN Dew VR Racing and much more,” is the company’s pitch on this feature.

It also integrates with other apps like Snapchat and Apple’s Siri, and it currently sends lots of traffic to other music apps like Spotify and Apple Music, which pays it when those clicks convert to purchases.

It’s not clear what will carry on post acquisition, and which of these might be something that Apple would integrate into its own business (and how), but it’s notable that much of what Shazam does is very synergistic with what Apple is working on already: AR, and more features to attract more users to the Apple Music platform.

Apple has made dozens of other acquisitions, and one of the biggest has been in the area of music: it acquired Beats for $3 billion in 2014, which became the basis for Apple Music. That service has around 30 million users as of September of this year. As a point of comparison, Spotify has over 60 million paying subscribers, with 140 million overall.

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