Apple is Buying Shazam: Here's What it Means for Music on Your Phone

Will all roads lead to Apple?

Flickr / ryoichitanaka

Apple has confirmed it’s acquiring Shazam.

Rumors of the buyout began ciruclating last week, claiming Apple will take over the music-recognizing app. Today, the app that’s long been known for telling you “what’s that song?” officially has a new buyer.

So what does the merger mean for the two music-focused platforms? While Apple hasn’t said how it plans to integrate Shazam into its music venture, there are a few routes the duo can take together.

In the current Shazam app, users have several options for what to do once a song is recognized. They can stream or buy the song in Apple Music or the Amazon store, share what the listened to on Facebook or text, listen to the song in Spotify or Google Play, and watch the music video on YouTube.

Every tech giant is represented there in one form or another, but it figures this merger will streamline user options so that all roads lead to Apple. It’s conceivable that means Shazam will eventually become just a subsidiary, baked-in feature of the Apple Music app, though at least for the time being it’s likely a recognizable enough name that it will remain separate.

While all that might sound like bad news for those who use Shazam on an Android phone, the launch two years ago of Apple Music for Android should mean Shazam can remain a useful presence for non-iPhone users, though it may mean Android users looking to get the most out of Shazam will also need to go ahead and download Apple Music as well.

Shazam currently sends more than a combined million referrals to Apple Music and to Spotify, with which Apple also shares an integration. Shazam’s music-recognition feature is also already integrated with Apple’s Siri, which can further be synced with Apple’s ecosystem, such as iMessage and Apple TV.

“We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple,” an Apple spokesperson told The Verge.

“Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users,” the rep continued. “We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today’s agreement.”

Shazam seems equally thrilled to be joining the world’s biggest tech company and grow its brand.

“We are excited to announce that Shazam has entered into an agreement to become part of Apple,” Shazam said in a statement to The Verge. “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.”

Shazam’s $1 billion valuation during its last fund round didn’t quite translate into the deal. Apple doesn’t typically disclose details of its acquisitions, but according to reports, it paid about $400 million for the London-based startup. The figure hasn’t been confirmed yet, but considering Shazam only made $54 million in revenue in 2016, the billion-dollar figure seems at least a little inflated in hindsight.

Absorbing the music recognition app into the Apple behemoth removes a lot of the pressure on Shazam to turn its useful but limited service of recognizing music people randomly hear into a serious moneymaking venture.

No word yet on how Shazam will handle its existing Snapchat and Spotify partnerships now that it’s under the Apple umbrella, along with Beats 1 radio.

According to reports, the deal will close in the coming weeks.

Related Tags