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Downloaded a billion times, Shazam will strengthen Apple in music.

The online music sector continues to consolidate. After the announcement on Friday, of a capital alliance between the world leader in streaming, Spotify, and the Chinese digital giant Tencent, it's Apple's turn to strengthen itself in this highly contested market. This Monday, December 11, Apple confirmed the acquisition of Shazam from BuzzFeed News. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed. It would exceed 400 million pounds, or 455 million euros, according to Techcrunch. In 2014, Shazam was valued at £1 billion. This sum is important for the American, accustomed to small-scale acquisitions. Only exception, the acquisition in 2014 for 3 billion dollars of the company Beats, which will have served as the foundation for the future music streaming service Apple Music. The latter currently has 30 million paying subscribers, compared to 60 million for Spotify Premium.

Founded in 1999 in the UK, Shazam really took off with the release of its iPhone app in 2007. Its technology allows it to recognize any piece of music in seconds. By September 2016, Shazam had been downloaded a billion times on mobiles. Half of the users are in the United States, where several successful TV shows, such as X Factor, have partnered with the application. Since the spring, she has had her own game show on Fox, Beat Shazam.

Close ties to Apple

In 2016, the application generated 45 million euros thanks, in part, to the agreements it made with online music leaders. Each time a song is recognized by Shazam, the user is prompted to buy it on iTunes (since 2014), listen to it on Spofity (2015) or Apple Music (2016). This represents a million referrals to music platforms every day. The start-up charges a commission on each transaction. Shazam is also present in advertising and offers advertisers "augmented" TV campaigns: if the user uses Shazam during the ad, he gets access from his mobile to additional content. In France, SFR was the first company to test this device in 2012.

Last year, Shazam launched into augmented reality for brands. A technology in which Apple wants to strengthen itself. The ties between the two companies are close. In addition to references to iTunes and Apple Music, Shazam has also been integrated with Siri, Apple's voice assistant, since 2014. The British company's technology could in the future be integrated into the Apple's future connected speaker, the HomePod.

Apple no longer hides that it wants to make audio one of its priorities. Last week, he bought the start-up Pop Up Archive, which makes it possible to transcribe audio content into text. It also offers a powerful search engine in the podcast sector. With this technology, the Apple Podcast app could offer better program recommendations to its listeners. And thus secure its leading position in this booming market.

Source: Apple confirms takeover of Shazam app

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