This morning Buzzfeed confirmed Apple is in the midst of purchasing Shazam, the music recognition app, for a reported $400 million. It proves that while Apple lags behind Spotify in terms of subscribed users (140 million to Apple’s 30 million,) the company is not ready to ceed space in the world of music. Also noteworthy: This is also one of the largest purchases Apple has ever made.
Speculation is abound about what this means for Apple and, more specifically, Apple Music. The Music Industry Blog hypothesizes the acquisition could be Apple’s answer to Spotify’s 2014 Echo Nest purchase, which provides endless troves of data to the streaming platform. VentureBeat argues that this news is all about Siri, Apple’s voice recognition software, and that it could open new lanes within the emerging voice market.
I’ll split the difference and say both could be correct: Even though Apple bought the data company MusicMetric in 2015, the amount of information Shazam collects is robust and a staple of the music industry. Apple doesn’t yet have their own voice competitor to the Amazon Echo or Google Home, so Shazam technology could be great for the company still nudging its way into that market.
Now, for non-tech people, will this purchase really mean that much? Probably not. Until Shazam is fully integrated into the Apple ecosystem and doesn’t work with Spotify, no one should freak out. But that future is nigh.