Apple has finally bought Shazam, a London-based music and image recognition service for a reported USD$400m becoming the company’s biggest acquisition since it bought Dr Dre’s headphones company Beats Electronics for USD$3 billion in 2014. The Cupertino-based tech firm, which revolutionized music with the introduction of the the iPod and iPhone, said Shazam was a natural fit for its Apple Music streaming service.
Here is the statement that Apple provided to TechCrunch:
“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.”
According to reports by TechCrunch, neither side would officially say how much Apple had paid, but a figure of about USD$400m has been reported, less than half the USD$1 billion the app was last valued at when it tapped investors for cash in 2015.
According to theguardian, Shazam has struggled to make much money, with revenues of USD$54 millilon in 2016.
A spokesman for Shazam, said the app is one of the highest rated apps in the world and loved by hundreds of millions of users. “We can’t imagine a better home for Shazam to enable us to continue innovating and delivering magic for our users.”
Shazam founded in 1999 and has over a billion app downloads, creates “acoustic fingerprints” of music and returns song information and links for smartphone owners to buy or listen the tune. The app is already used by Apple’s assistant Siri, allowing users to ask: “What song is playing?”
How the app came about before acquisition:
Shazam was formed in Hammersmith, west London, by a group of four friends; Dhiraj Mukherjee, Chris Barton, Philip Inghelbrecht, and Avery Wang – frustrated that they often had trouble identifying the names of songs they liked on the radio. Shazam started before the revolution of smartphones and iTunes, so to use the service people had to call a number, put their phone up to the radio, then receive a text identifying the song.
Of the four friends, only Avery Wang remains. And according to TechCrunch, it took 14 years before Shazam crossed over into profitability in 2016, largely thanks to advertising revenues.