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Apple confirms Shazam acquisition

By | Published on Tuesday 12 December 2017


Apple has confirmed that it is buying Shazam, following all those reports last week – starting in TechCrunch – that a deal was very close to completion.

Why Shazam and why now you might wonder? Well, Tim Cook’s being trying to work out what that song is that goes “dilla, dilla, dilla, dilla, dilla, do, do, do, do, cha, cha, cha, cha”.

I think Jimmy Iovine probably suggested he get Shazam to work it out. Jimmy meant Tim should install the Shazam app on his iPhone, but things got a bit confused and the Apple boss ended up shelling out $400 million to buy the entire company.

But hey, at least he now knows it’s Vampire Weekend’s ‘A-Punk’. It probably got stuck in his head when it was included on the ‘intra-session’ playlist at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in 2015.

It having now accidentally bought the iconic audio recognition technology firm, Apple’s official spokesperson did their best to be “THRILLED” about it all yesterday. “We are THRILLED that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple”, they insisted.

“Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit”, they added, “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”.

Regulator approval that is. Apple doesn’t care whether you approve or not. “We are excited to announce that Shazam has entered into an agreement to become part of Apple”, Shazam announced – excitedly – yesterday, very pleased indeed to have correctly identified ‘A-Punk’.

“Shazam is one of the highest rated apps in the world and loved by hundreds of millions of users”, they bragged on. “We can’t imagine a better home for Shazam to enable us to continue innovating and delivering magic for our users”.

The reported $400 million price tag on the Shazam acquisition is significant, though a long way off the $1 billion valuation that the audio ID company had during its last funding round.

Shazam almost certainly has the highest brand awareness in the audio recognition space, among consumers at least. It nevertheless struggled to drive significant revenues around its userbase, making an acquisition by a tech giant like Apple possibly inevitable.

It remains to be seen what Apple does with the Shazam tech, app and brand. The tech firm’s Siri voice-activated assistant is already integrated with Shazam’s technology, but there are a number of ways that the audio ID system could further enhance Apple’s products.

In terms of the Shazam app, that currently does a pretty good job of sending Vampire Weekend fans like Tim off to Apple Music’s rivals in the streaming music market, something that will presumably end after this acquisition.

Indeed, some wonder whether the standalone Shazam app now has a long-term future at all. So if you’re an Android fan who also has “dilla, dilla, dilla, dilla, dilla, do, do, do, do, cha, cha, cha, cha” stuck in your head, Shazam it now while you still can. Except don’t. It’s ‘A-Punk’ by Vampire Weekend. I already told you that.