Apple announced that it was buying Shazam back in December last year, surprising many people in the process. It’s now confirmed that the deal is done and it’s officially the owner of the music recognition app.
It’s not clear to what extend this will change things. The good news is that Shazam will now be ad-free for everyone, including Android users. This is pretty unexpected considering ads are the main way the application makes money. The only way around ads till now was to upgrade to Shazam Encore, a separate paid app.
Why Apple Bought Shazam
It’s possible that Apple wants to attract more people to Shazam in order to direct their attention towards Apple Music. The former is very popular, having been downloaded over 1 billion times. Folks around the world apparently use it to identify songs over 20 million times every day.
Those users can then choose to buy the song they just discovered through Apple Music. Rivals like Spotify are probably going to stick around as well, if only to avoid accusations of being anticompetitive. The EU actually investigated the acquisition earlier this year based on these concerns. It later gave the deal the go-ahead.
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Another possible benefit could be the sheer volume of data which Shazam has access to. The app probably has a ton of information about the music people are listening to, divided into various aspects like country and operating software. It might even be possible to pick up on trends and then pass this info along to make Apple Music better.
Shazam is already making Siri better since the voice assistant uses its algorithms to identify songs. Perhaps Apple plans to integrate the application even deeper into iOS in the future. Google already has an “always listening” feature in its Pixel phones to automatically recognize songs. Maybe Apple has something similar planned for the iPhone.