Apple confirms it’s buying Shazam: “We have exciting plans in store”

Apple on Monday formally announced that it is acquiring the popular music recognition service Shazam, which Siri has been using since iOS 8 to identify songs playing around you.

Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr has officially confirmed the acquisition with the following statement issued this morning to the press:

We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple.

Since the launch of 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.

This is likely Apple’s most high-profile deal since the $3 billion Beats buy in 2014.

Shazam spokesperson Giovanni Bossio said:

We are excited to announce that Shazam has entered into an agreement to become part of Apple. Shazam is one of the highest rated apps in the world and loved by hundreds of millions of users and we can’t imagine a better home for Shazam to enable us to continue innovating and delivering magic for our users.

Neither company revealed the value or terms of the acquisition.

A report last week pegged the acquisition price at about $400 million, which is significantly less than the London-based startup’s last valuation of over $1 billion.

It’s unclear if this news perhaps means that Apple will pull Shazam’s song-identification app for Android from Play Store. For some context, when the Cupertino company acquired Beats a few years ago it also released the official Android app.

However, Shazam is not a subscription service so restricting the app to the Apple ecosystem may play to Apple’s advantage. Even if Shazam for Android gets pulled, there are plenty of quality alternatives out there, including the SoundHound service and Google’s own machine learning song-identification service built into the latest Pixel devices.

Shazam ties to Apple Music and has augmented reality features for finding content based on pictures captured with the app. The augmented reality aspect of the app could fit Apple’s own augmented reality plans on iPhone and iPad with iOS 11’s new ARKit framework.

Shazam said its mobile apps have been downloaded more than one billion times as of October of last year. Users have performed more than 30 billion “shazams” since launch 18 years ago.

Shazam started out as a service you reached by way of an SMS code: you simply dialed “2580” and held up the phone to the music and Shazam texted you the song and artists name.

Shazam integration is available in Siri for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac.

What do you make of this deal, guys?

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