Apple has bought Shazam

“That’s who sings that song?!”
“That’s who sings that song?!”
Image: AP Photo/Eric Risberg
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After initial reports on Friday that Apple was considering purchasing the music discovery app Shazam, the company confirmed on Dec. 11 that it is indeed buying the service.

An Apple representative sent Quartz the following statement:

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.

Apple didn’t comment on what it’s paying for the 18-year-old British company, but reports pegged the price at around £300 million ($395 million). As of 2015, Shazam’s valuation was around $1 billion, according to Pitchbook. Regardless, the sale is likely one of Apple’s largest acquisitions, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

Apple will be releasing its HomePod smart speaker in the next few months, and a deeper integration with Shazam’s technology could help it stand out against Google and Amazon offerings, which have dominated the nascent market. Apple will likely also be receiving a trove of data on the songs that its users have searched for through Shazam. This could help the company figure out what new content to provide on iTunes and Apple Music, and give it a new channel through which to sell those services. Any songs discovered on an Apple-owned Shazam (or through Siri) could then be purchased on iTunes, or the user could ask Siri to queue it up on an Apple Music playlist. Seeing as Apple’s services business is now its second-largest, this seems like a smart move.