Depending on who you're talking to, Apple's December 11 purchase of London-based Shazam was either the smartest to happen to Siri and Apple Music – or the best excuse ever, to start listening to SoundHound.
Apple excluded a reported $ 400 million for the "name as tune" app, down from a 2015 $ 1 billion valuation. The deep discount was not Apple's only advantage in selling. They bought Shazam directly from under Snap Inc. and Spotify companies who showed interest in purchasing the app for themselves and who have existing relationships with Shazam. Spotify is also Apple Music's biggest competitor.
So what makes this purchase? Readers may remember that Apple began to integrate Shazam's song identification technology into the Siri Voice Assistant back in 201
It's so far unclear what Apple has in mind. Shazam has been an important part of Spotify's music detection service, and this feature is one of the reasons why Spotify typically uses a monthly 2: 1 user acquisition rate over Apple Music. The increasing trend towards streaming towards purchases has been a path to both Shazam and Apple Music (it was Apple's iTunes Store as popularized individual song purchases basically, which went hand in hand with their iPods back in the day). But if Apple can use Shazam to create a more robust streaming service, than they have better match to go up with Spotify.
The fact that Spotify is Apple Musics main competition, some users have worried about the future of Shazam's integration in Spotify. Some predict that Apple will completely hatch it, thus cutting Spotify off the proverbial knees. Another concern is that Apple will completely remove the standalone app and force curious users to ask Siri what is being played without being able to silence the application with fingertips. Both scenarios seem possible – if a bit extreme. Similarly, they are not perfect, and both carry branches that can affect existing relationships with Apple as much as they can create new ones. In the case of Apple Guts Shazam from Spotify, remember that the music service is Apple's biggest competition, but not their only competition. Most diehards seem prepared to pivot to Google SoundHound before agreeing to join Apple Music. And Siri works best in quiet rooms, which immediately kill functionality if someone needs to convince the voice assistant to name their newly discovered favorite melody in the middle of a crowded bar or vibrant nightclub.
Others are still worried that Apple will remove the Shazam app from Android or get rid of its Android support. These results are also realistic, although SoundHound again becomes a very good wrench in these works. Apple engineering a less than enjoyable experience for Android users hardly guarantees that devoted Shazam fans will be enticed to Apple via the app; It seems unlikely that frustrated customers will run straight into the arms of the company that hijacked their experience. This is especially true when SoundHound is out there, ready and able to offer angry music lovers melodic ointment for its digital wounds.
"Those who control data will rule all over the world." – Masayoshi Son
What seems to be almost universally assumed is that Apple bought Shazam for access to their intellectual and user data. Sure, the timing is aimed at the delayed launch of HomePod, which means there are some last moments that fiddle on the backside. It certainly sets the stage for a major update to Siri in iOS 12 (it also suggests that Apple has stopped upgrading products internally, in favor of almost exclusively relying on acquisitions to add functionality). But these little bells and whistles – just like Spotify speculation – are small potatoes compared to what Apple could do with this new treasure chest of information.
For example, Kif Leswing of Business Insider points to Shazam's analytical control center, a "Dashboard" – for music industry professionals, collecting data about what happens to Shazamed. "When someone identifies what a song is through Shazam, it's quite strong signal that it is catchy or distinctive. "Our data has shown that we can typically predict 33 days in advance what will be on top of Billboard Hot 100," said a Shazam director in 2014. "These data broaden the breadth and depth of what Apple has been capable of to access from existing platforms. Of course, it also includes mountains of data on Android users that have so far been unavailable to them.
And now for something completely different
But these are just the services we know about – and it does We do not know what we do not know. Just like Apple's acquisition of PrimeSense, more about accessing visual technology to create FaceID than trying to make AppleTV into an Xbox rival, the Shazam acquisition might be a part of a bigger strategy using Shazam's IP to create a brand new product.
So rely on some new watches and whistles from Apple Music and prepare yourself for Siri to get a juicy new upgrade – these are simple and almost Guaranteed. If you are one Spotify-doorhard or an Android user, you may have some tough choices about where to go to stream songs.
But we must wait and see what the real excitement will be. Apple has probably found a whole new way of using Shazam's technology, and it will probably not make "Beat Shazam" an Apple TV exclusive.
INVASIVE CODE team
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