Apple's acquisition of the music identification app Shazam, while certainly a notable purchase, occurred with little industry fuss, but the spreading of the Apple umbrella over Shazam may have more dramatic implications for the music business than were first thought.
Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0
A few weeks ago Apple completed its acquisition of Shazam for $400 million, and while it didn’t go unnoticed, it didn’t created much of a ripple either. That said, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that could make this a much bigger deal down the road. Music Business Worldwide covered this in depth, but I’ll touch on some of the reasons why it really helps the tech giant.
1. Apple gets Shazam’s listener data. And it’s a major treasure trove of how Shazam’s 150 million monthly users in over 200 countries listen to music, an invaluable resource.
2. It’s the technology. Apple doesn’t care much about the Shazam app but it sure cares about the engineering infrastructure behind it. Like in many acquisitions, it’s all about the technology and this one is no different than most.
3. It’s going to be free, for now. Apple announced that Shazam will now be free to use because it wants to gain even more user data, but keep in mind that Shazam is also integrated into Spotify. You can bet that either company will only let this go on for so long before Spotify gets cut off, but if Shazam is still being used as a free-standing app it may not matter.
4. It’s all about the Voice Recognition. Even though Apple came out with Siri voice recognition first, it lost its lead to both Amazon and Google. Shazam has some extremely smart voice recognition that could be used to improve Siri and be incorporated into future products.
5. In-car entertainment is a big deal. Apple already has Car Play, but anyone who has it knows that it comes with limitations. Shazam technology could also improve this product before Apple loses its lead here too.
Don’t be surprised to see the fruits of this acquisition to come to Apple products soon, while Shazam integration gets cut off from other streaming services. For a more in depth discussion, go to MBW.