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Apple orchestrates deal for song-recognition app Shazam

Apple orchestrates deal for song-recognition app Shazam

It is unclear whether Shazam will continue to exist as a standalone app once the acquisition is complete, or whether the app will be absorbed into Apple Music. The acquisition boosts Apple's position in the music world and advances its artificial intelligence efforts. That's well below Shazam's once reported $1 billion post-valuation, the company has recently been on the decline due to the inability to find a viable business model and underperforming by only pulling in $56 million in 2016.

Apple is a rich company, but even so, a rumored $400M is a lot of money to spend on buying a single app. Universal, Sony and Warner Music also have small stakes. Surprisingly, Apple Music has struggled to compete on the data front in the streaming landscape, lagging behind Spotify on its quality and depth of algorithmic recommendations despite acquiring music data startup Semetric in 2015. The Cupertino, California, company declined to say whether Shazam's app will still be available after the deal closes.

The popular music identifying app Shazam has been purchased by Apple because of its huge cache of user music browsing data.




Apple Music is king when it comes to the streaming wars, but other services like Spotify and Tidal offer better unique experiences. It can also help Apple users get ahead of the music industry by receiving notifications that inform them as to which artist or song might be on the rise in terms of popularity. If Apple becomes as open as Shazam to sharing such data with labels (which, if history is any indication, is highly unlikely), content creators and owners could have access to much richer datasets around individual songs, beyond the narrow focus on skip and play-through rates that now pervades the business.

These simple origins succeeded in generating buzz and eventually funded the development of an app which remains one of the most downloaded of all time. However, the user numbers are still only about half of that of Sweden-based music streaming service Spotify.

That's likely not all that Apple is planning, though. Good move or bad move for Apple to reportedly phase out digital music downloads in a couple of years? We are interested to see how Shazam and their use of augmented reality technology will help improve Apple Music in the future.


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