Spotify is getting closer to going public. Google Assistant can finally recognize songs. It’s about time for Apple to make some moves in the music service arena, and if TechCrunch‘s sources are on the money, it appears that the Cupertino-based company is this close to acquiring Shazam.
According to the sources, the deal was signed sometime last week and will be announced this coming Monday. We don’t know how much Apple reportedly bought Shazam for, but one source said the deal was in the nine figures. Another source said the deal was worth around £300 million, or $404 million, but there seems to be a consensus that the deal will be lower than the $1.02 valuation that Shazam reached in its last funding round back in 2015.
There’s also the question of why Apple would acquire Shazam. The music-recognition service already implements its song ID feature on iPhones as of iOS 8 and Macs. Shazam also has a background listening tool that can recognize songs and audio clips, a useful feature that we could see implemented in Apple’s upcoming HomePod smart speaker.
It also helps that Shazam has quietly worked on its augmented reality brand marketing, with augmented reality being an arena that Apple has focused on with iOS 11. We don’t know how much of Shazam’s offerings will carry over in the reported acquisition, but given their usefulness, it’s doubtful that Apple will not use all of them in some capacity.
The more obvious concern for Android users is the likelihood of Apple pulling the Shazam app from the Play Store. That likelihood is rather high, though the bigger concern is whether Shazam will continue being a separate entity. That’s a bit murkier, seeing how not every company Apple has acquired was dissolved — Beats, for example, still stands on its own — though others, like HopStop, no longer exist on their own.
We’ll likely get more details on Monday if the acquisition goes official.