Apple close to buying Shazam to boost music business

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  • Saturday, 09 Dec 2017

BOOM: Shazam announced Wednesday that 100 million people use its song-recognition mobile service monthly in a 34% surge from a year earlier.

APPLE Inc. is close to acquiring music-identification company Shazam Entertainment Ltd. in a deal that would give it ownership of a popular app with insight into people’s musical interests, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The pending deal comes as Apple looks to increase subscriptions to its music-streaming service and prepares to launch its first smart speaker, the HomePod.

The pending deal was reported early Friday by TechCrunch.

The Shazam app made its debut in 2008 and is now connected to more than 1 billion people. It allows users who hear an unfamiliar song to identify it by absorbing the audio and running it past a musical database to find a match. It then provides users with the song, artist and directs them to services such as Apple Music or Spotify, where they can purchase or listen to the music.

Shazam was a top referral app for iTunes for years and could help funnel potential subscribers to Apple Music, the company’s streaming-music service. Apple Music, which has about 30 million subscribers, is trying to boost subscriptions and catch up with rival Spotify AB, which has about 60 million paid subscriptions.

Apple also could further integrate Shazam into its voice- and search-assistant Siri. The voice assistant began using Shazam in 2014 to allow users to ask Siri verbally to identify a song. It could then surface the song with a “buy” button that would allow users to purchase the music from Apple.

Shazam’s investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Institutional Venture Partners, and DN Capital. - WSJ

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