Apple to Buy Music Identification App Shazam

In an effort to solidify its foothold in the music services market, Apple is preparing to acquire the music identification app Shazam.

Founded 1999 by tech entrepreneurs Chris Barton, Avery Wang, Philip Inghelbrecht and Dhiraj Mukherjee, Shazam identifies songs based on samples. We’ve all been there before: you hear a song on the radio but can’t remember the name of it or who sings it. Well, Shazam is designed to help users identify songs.

Available for Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Windows, Shazam uses the device’s microphone to record a short sample of the sound. It then cross-references this audio sample with its internal database. If Shazam finds a matching database entry, it displays the song’s information, including the title, artist and album.

Shazam has become the leading music identification app on the market. In 2016, the company announced that its mobile app had been downloaded more than 1 billion times. Furthermore, users have performed more than 30 million song searches using Shazam since its launch.

There are currently two different versions of Shazam. There’s a free version known simply as “Shazam” and a paid version known as “Shazam Encore.” Both versions allow users to identify songs by recording sample audio. Shazam Encore, however, offers additional features like recommendations and popularity charts. Shazam Encore is priced at $4.69. Assuming Apple acquires the app, though, pricing and other features may change.

As explained by Engadget, the Cupertino-based tech giant hasn’t officially announced the acquisition. However, sources close to the deal say Apple could make the announcement as early as next week.

So, how much is Apple is expected to pay for Shazam? According to Tech Crunch, it’s in the hundreds of millions. One source told the popular tech website that Apple is paying $401 million for Shazam. While that may sound generous, it’s actually significantly less than Shazam’s valuation in its most recent round of fundraising in 2015 ($1.02 billion). Because its valuation exceeds $1 billion, Shazam is considered to be a “tech unicorn.”

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Dil Bole Oberoi