Apple Purchases Shazam, Most Expensive Purchase Since Beats In 2014

Apple has acquired the music recognition service Shazam on Dec. 11. The deal, reportedly worth $400 million dollars, is one of the most expensive purchases for Apple since they bought the headphone maker Beats.

Shazam, an app that has the ability to recognize the title and artist of a song by listening to it, has been popular among the public, having had over 1 billion downloads since 2008. However, excitement over the app has slowly been declining in recent years, and there is some speculation as to what plans Apple has in store for the service.

The Washington Post highlighted one potential reason for Apple’s acquisition of Shazam, which can be simply summed up in one word: data. Rather than the actual music-recognition software that Shazam has, Apple may actually be interested in the data for all the users that Shazam has had. The Washington Post points out that this could be Apple’s attempt at continuing to compete against Spotify in the music industry. Before the deal, Shazam was providing service for both Spotify and Apple; after the purchase, this will most expectedly change.

Apple is facing an uphill battle against Spotify. After releasing Apple Music – a streaming service similar to Spotify – in 2015, there have been over 27 million subscribers. This is a far cry from the more than 60 million subscribers for Spotify. The class action lawsuits against Apple for its purposeful slowing down of older model iPhones will also not help the company’s attempt at competing with Spotify. While not directly related to music, the negative publicity and falling out with its customers will put a lot of pressure on Apple to make major, positive changes.

Downloadable music has drastically developed over the past decade, with Apple and Spotify being the front runners. The recent acquisition of Shazam by Apple will provide interesting changes to that development.