Apple has confirmed that it is buying Shazam, music recognition service. Sources tell TechCrunch and Recode that the acquisition value is $400 million.
An Apple spokesman said in a statement that “Apple Music and Shazam fit in naturally, sharing a passion for discovering music and delivering great experiences to our users.”
For now, Apple does not reveal what it will do with Shazam – whether it will keep it active, or whether it will shut it down. They just say they have “exciting plans” for the app.
Shazam began in 1999, well before the apps age: users in the UK called 2580 and the phone recorded up to thirty seconds of audio to identify the song; the result was sent via SMS.
In 2008, it was one of the first apps released on the iPhone App Store, redirecting users to buy music on iTunes. In the same year, came the Android app, which led to the Amazon MP3 Store.
These links earn a commission. CEO Rich Riley told The Wall Street Journal that 10% of digital music sales come from Shazam – for many years, that was the company’s breadwinner. However, as users migrated to streaming services, revenue was declining, which motivated the sale to Apple.
Shazam sends a million clicks a day to Spotify, Deezer and other streaming services. After the acquisition, Apple must stop this flow. In addition, Siri will be able to recognize music more seamlessly (she already uses Shazam for that).
According to Recode, Snap – the company behind Snapchat – also wanted to buy Shazam, but could not beat Apple.