Apple has acquired British app development company Shazam for $400 million according to Recode. The ‘nifty-song detection technology’ basically allows users to identify songs, movies, commercials and TV shows by playing short audio samples.
The British company that started in 2002 launched its ad-supported app in Apple App Store in 2008, the year when the Apple App Store was newly created. While it was one of the most downloaded apps back then, with the evolution of technology over the years, the ‘software running the app’ became replicable quite easily. The company lost considerable revenue earning just $54 million in 2016.
However, Apple’s fast-growing streaming service and acquisition of the music recognition app might help in getting a strong user base.
“Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users,” Apple said in a statement.
“We can’t imagine a better home for Shazam to enable us to continue innovating and delivering magic for our users,” Shazam cited in a separate statement.
Apparently, social media company Snap Inc and video streaming service Spotify, the existing partners with Shazam, were reportedly said to have interest in acquiring the company. However, neither Shazam nor Apple have disclosed any information regarding the status of these partnerships.
While music has been an integral part of Apple’s venture, it is believed that Shazam might help in improving the experience of Apple’s music and video streaming service. Notably, Shazam’s music and sound recognition is already integrated with Siri and is expected to gain ‘deeper integration’ with iOS. Further, Apple seems to have interest in Shazam’s visual recognition engine and augmented reality technology as well. Shazam’s AR platform was announced in March this year. The platform allowed users to scan “Shazam Codes” with the content that was displayed on a phone after the scan.
Although, Siri was able to identify the songs being played with Shazam integration in 2014 itself, with the new acquisition, Apple will look to take its voice-based assistant to the next level to compete with Google and Amazon. While the Pixel 2 can now identify a song without asking what the device is playing, Google Lens with computer vision can recognise plenty of objects and save information from business cards, save a URL from a poster, call phone numbers and navigate addresses.