Apple's Acquisition of Shazam and How it will change things

Updated on 2017-12-19 by Tejas Upmanyu

Apple Acquires Shazam

Inside Apple’s Acquisition of Shazam

Hey Siri, What song is that?

After first smells from TechCrunch, Apple confirmed one of the most high profile acquisition in the company’s history by acquiring, the famous London-based music, TV-series and Image recognition company, Shazam. Apple stamped the acquisition, officially on 12th of December, 2017 for $400 million.  Shazam, being a very popular and widely used service in music, gains Apple some solid footing in the music Industry, one it definitely looks forward to capitalise through Its own homegrown music service, Apple Music. 

Shazam, as we know it has been a pioneer startup in the world of mobile music before it was a “thing”. Shazam could be a trophy in Apple’s plan of world music domination. And we must say, It's a great one.  Here’s what Apple spokesperson told The Verge -

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 has been a steal deal for Apple, as the once a billion-dollar valued startup was sold in just close to $400 million. Sure, the company has been losing its grip in business over the past few years, due to unviable business model as some may call it, with a revenue of just $54  million in 2016. Sources report that the Cupertino-giant has been in the talks for over 5 months and It certainly ended well for Apple. 

Apple Acquires Shazam music

The Race For Shazam: Apple vs Spotify vs Snap

Apple, being Apple is very low-key about how It plans to use Shazam, and what is about to happen next as Shazam is on the Apple-board. Though, Its quite conspicuous that Shazam’s acquisition would help Apple a great deal in a number of areas. It is up to Apple now, how they craft unique possibilities and experiences with Shazam. 

Shazam has always been about Music recognition, since the very beginning. You can just use a clip of music that’s playing to know what’s that song and all the other related details. Not only music, Shazam had expanded Its feature set to videos, TV series, Movies and even commercials. This has showered over a billion downloads of this app to date. Shazam has been experimenting and pushing Its platform by integrating and partnering with other major services and platforms. This helped Shazam to gain some interesting friends and partners in the Industry, special mentions, Apple and Spotify. Fun fact, Shazam is behind over 1 million referrals for these services combined, every month. Also, Snapchat is in the play with an integration with Shazam where users can “recognise music, engage with Shazam content, and send their music and artist discoveries as Snaps to their friends.” Thus, when It came to the acquisition of Shazam, each of three players made their bet. 

Shazam was quoted as-

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.

Shzam app which song is playing

Apple and Shazam have been partners for years now. The acquisition deal came as a surprise, catalysed originally by Snap, Snapchat’s parent. But they couldn’t proceed with it due to Its marshy time back in March when Snap’s IPO was out. Apple entered the mix and got away with the prized music recognition service. The same happened with Spotify as they were not progressive with the price and since Spotify is about to go public, Its enough volatile land for them already. 

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Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue’s eyes got stuck on the opportunity to buy out Shazam, in order to boost their own music platform, Apple Music.

apple vice president eddy cue

As Apple is very proud about their Music DNA, Shazam was a natural partner since the days of iPod. Cue has great thoughts about Shazam and Its ability to improve Apple’s offerings in music. Is Shazam, Apple’s silver bullet against Spotify? Time will tell

As for now, Shazam already is integrated with Apple Music and Siri, with referrals of over 100 million users till date from Shazam. We could see a deeper integration into iOS and other Apple platforms, could Apple pull Its own, “now-playing” like Google’s Pixel 2 does? That’s very likely. 

Apple acquires shazam song detection

Apple’s not only interested in Music services by Shazam, but also the Augmented Reality technology, which could help Apple ones get better than ever. Shazam has great visual recognition capabilities and AR platform for big brands that could potentially help Apple build Its own, Google-Lens kind of functionality for Siri and also take ARKit to new heights. 

Will Shazam just Zapp out of Android and others?

Yeah, I know that’s the first question you’ve had. Will Apple shut down Shazam from Android and others. The answer seems to be “No” very likely. As can be traced back to the $3-billion deal of Beats, Apple would very likely make some of the features exclusive to iOS and show Spotify some sun with Its own music discovery front, all thanks to Shazam. 

Apple Shazam acquisition

Did, Apple just pay $400 million for music recognition?

Apple’s the richest company on the planet, no doubt, gearing towards the trillion dollar company mark, but still paying $400 million for a music recognition capability is much? Don’t you think? 

People suggest that this move was a simple and clear one to protect Siri deal. If someone else barged in and got it, Apple would have been left out alone. Also very likely, is that Apple wants to redeem a feature Siri once had but lost as It was briefly noticed (via 9to5Mac) -

“Siri briefly automatically recognised playing music using Shazam, but the feature was quickly changed to only work when the user actually asks what song is playing. It’s unclear if this was for privacy reasons or as part of their licensing agreement, but it would be fantastic to see automatic song tagging return as part of this acquisition.”

Other’s like BBC reported another very possible theory about data-

“Spotify has made the discovery of new music front and centre of what makes it a compelling proposition,” said Mark Mulligan, from the consultancy Media Research. “Apple just doesn’t have the same amount of data about listening tastes as Spotify, meaning it can’t drive recommendations with as high a degree of accuracy and precision. “Shazam essentially gives it a shortcut to having a massive database.”


Apple of course, has lots of data coming from Its customers, but Shazam’s bank just widens the scope by quite a staggering margin. And Its a sharp move, as Shazam not only has data from Apple users but also from Android side of the story as well.  And while Apple Music is still in a few countries, Shazam is truly global.

apple watch shazam app

What are Apple’s plans for future? Of course deeper Integrations in the iOS and other platforms, what about Android? If Apple decides to shut down the app on Android, It will lose all the data from the large Android user base of Shazam, which Apple definitely wouldn’t afford to lose, In Its bid to make Apple Music better than Spotify for music discovery, It has to get more data. 

There are a lot of calculations, Apple has to make to get the most out of this acquisition. What we expect is Shazam to be as amazing as It has always been, and better under the Apple umbrella. That’s all we have to talk about Apple’s accusation of Shazam. What are your thoughts on this famous buy-out? What are your expectations from Shazam, now that’s Its powered by Apple? What do you expect from Apple to do with Shazam? We’d like to see your views on this topic. Do give us a shoutout on Facebook and make sure to follow us on Twitter for similar and quality technical articles, We are now on Instagram and Medium as well. Do check us out for some great content there and be sure to follow. Till then, Goodbye. 


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