Apple has confirmed that it is acquiring the popular music app Shazam in a deal that is estimated to be worth around $400m. Why is Apple buying Shazam? Well, Shazam has amassed a serious user base. The app has been downloaded more than 1 billion times. Shazam has more than 120 million active users, who use the app 20 million times each day. Its users are loyal, which could lead to more paying customers for Apple’s own services, such as Apple Music. Also, with its large user base comes a staggering amount of data. Shazam knows what people are listening to, where and when, and how those trends are shifting over time. However, even though the app is best known as a song identifier, Shazam can also be used to scan movie posters or other images to “unlock” extras, like behind-the-scenes video clips or augmented reality content from a celebrity or brand. In The Media Store’s 2018 Trends we identified the rise of AR, the digital lens and upcoming point and learn technology. Now the IP and technology will become Apple’s. Apple Music, Apple TV and other iOS apps could take advantage of Shazam’s technology by allowing sound or image identification as a feature within them (much like Snapchat uses Shazam today). In the meantime, as part of Apple’s acquisition, the company has announced it will be removing ads from the Shazam app “for all users”. It is unclear whether this is for iOS users only or Android users as well. For as long as it lasts, enjoy!

Helen Karabassis