Apple are now the sole owners of Shazam, having acquired the music discovery app for a price that is reported to be in the vicinity of $400 million. That said, neither Apple nor Shazam have confirmed the financial aspects of the deal though the amount doing the rounds of the internet, if true, would be significantly less than the $1 billion than the app was last valued at in 2015.
Apple, in its statement, said they make a great team with Shazam, what with their shared passion for music. The UK based Shazam made a name for itself given the manner they provide users information about the music being played, complete with the link to buy it as well.
In fact, Shazam has been in the business long before even smartphones came into being, having started back in 1999. It was set up by a team of music lovers frustrated by their inability to find the song name being played on the radio. Back then, listeners would have to dial a number, hold up the radio to the phone’s receiver with the song name later texted to the sender. It accomplished this by creating what the firm described as ‘acoustic fingerprints’ of the music and comparing the same with the database they have to determine the name of the song being played.
The start-up later emerged as an app with the advent of smartphones, each for the Android and iOS platform. Since then, it has gone on for more than a billion downloads and features as one of the highest rated apps.
Interestingly, the Apple connection with Shazam had started much earlier given that Siri already uses the app to answer user’s queries like the name of the song being played and so on. Being the first to revolutionize music in the digital age with the launch of the iPod, this quite justifies when Apple said they and ‘Shazam are a natural fit’.
However, even past a billion plus downloads, Shazam always struggled to generate profits, having broken n only in 2013. That’s 14 years after it first started operations. Even then, its revenue turned out to be just $54 million in 2016. Such concerns should be a thing of the past now given that it is firmly under the ambit of the cash-rich Apple.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if Shazam will continue to have an independent existence post its take-over by Apple. That has never been the case with any acquisition the Cupertino giant made, and if Shazam becomes exclusive to Apple, as is likely to be, Android users of the app stand to lose quite something.
Also, its integration to the Apple Music is anticipated as that will help iPhone user to search any song playing anywhere and giving user an option to buy it from iTunes.