Apple Buys UK Music App Shazam For £300m

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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UPDATED: Apple ‘confirms’ acquisition of music identification app Shazam in move that could boost Apple Music

Apple has confirmed the acquisition of music application Shazam for $400 million (£300m), according to reports, in a move that could boost Apple Music’s fight for supremacy in the music streaming market.

London-based Shazam was founded as an SMS service in 1999 and is capable of identifying music, television shows, films and adverts based on a short audio or video clip.

Apple Music CEO Tim Cook

Apple Shazam

It has so far been downloaded by more than one billion users and more than 30 billion searches have conducted on the platform. Despite marketing arrangements and integrations with Snapchat, Spotify and Siri, the company has struggled to convert this popularity into revenue.

The firm was once valued at $1 billion, making it a coveted technology unicorn, however it has now sold up.

“We are excited to announce that Shazam has entered into an agreement to become part of Apple,” a Shazam spokesperson told Silicon. “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.”

Apple had not responded to Silicon’s requests for comment at the time of publication but it would appear a logical purchase for the company.

Music identification would give Apple Music another feather to its bow in the battle against Spotify and others, while close integration with the service could encourage more signups.

Shazam is also working on projects in the field of augmented reality (AR), something Apple is also backing heavily. The most recent version of iOS includes support for the ARKit developer framework and there are suggestions Apple is working on its own AR headset.

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