With this acquisition, the company could be looking to bolstering Apple Music, its own music streaming service, which competes with Spotify. Technology news site Recode previously reported Apple is paying about $400 million for Shazam, citing three unidentified people familiar with the deal. Apple has told the outlet that it's "simply not true", but the intelligence points to the plan being "on schedule" or even early.
Shazam reportedly achieved profitability past year, which its CEO attributes to an increased focus on advertising and marketing rather than music sales.
By using the data smartly, Apple can put together better playlists on its music streaming service and offer more curated content, which can help lure more subscribers.
Instead, as so many music startups have done, Shazam stumbled because it confounded cultural influence with commercial viability.
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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. Universal, Sony and Warner Music also have small stakes. Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users.
The partnership could help Spotify, the world's largest streaming platform with more than 60 million users, in developing the Chinese market with Tencent support. 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.
Snap, which has a Shazam feature integrated into its camera app, declined to comment. "For the latter case, it's important to do things like differentiate between an original release and an extended radio mix and make sure the right version of the song is coming up". Apple is known to be betting big on Augmented Reality, and smart devices that can recognise sounds are likely to be on the agenda sooner rather than later.