Why Apple's Shazam acquisition could be a big deal for the HomePod

Yolanda Curtis
December 14, 2017

So, why has Apple confirmed it is "combining" its business with that of the smaller London company?

The deal is seen as a significant threat to Apple's iTunes offering, potentially spurring its decision to acquire Shazam.

However in recent years, Shazam has become more than just a tool to identify what song is playing on the radio.

As consumers come to expect personalized music recommendations and playlists, Shazam's user data could give Apple a leg up in understanding and reaching new customers. According to reports, the deal is worth US$400 million. In the mobile space the company is mainly fighting against Google, whose AI and machine learning prowess is arguably far above Apple's. As Apple carefully expands on its original video strategy and its relationships with Hollywood, Shazam will also prove to be a crucial stepping stone towards owning the entire media consumption cycle.

While Shazam is best known for its song-matching capabilities, the app has also been adding augmented reality features.

DMN's Paul Resnikoff provided a few more details about the plan, which will allegedly take hold of Apple's iTunes users shortly after the Christmas season of 2018 ends.

An Apple spokeswoman, declining to confirm how much the Cupertino company paid for the British service, described the two companies as "a natural fit". Apple is lagging behind its big rivals when it comes to smart speakers and digital assistants. Neither Apple nor Shazam have revealed their intentions in this regard. "For the latter case, it's important to do things like differentiate between an original release and an extended radio mix and make sure the right version of the song is coming up". The app has been a staple in the iOS Store's top 10.

Therefore, not only will the independent audio recognition market stay around, but Shazam may be one of several acquisitions Apple needs to make to truly get ahead in music discovery and control the entire funnel. It's not hard to understand why the iPhone maker might have been interested in Shazam.

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