Apple Said to Be Acquiring Shazam, the Song Identifying App

A decade ago, Apple’s iPhone helped make a music-tech star out of Shazam, the app that, almost like magic, could identify a song just by hearing a few seconds of it.

Now, Shazam is about to become the property of Apple.

The tech giant is close to to acquiring Shazam, according to a person with knowledge of the deal who was not authorized to discuss it. News of the deal was first reported by TechCrunch.

The price was not known, but was expected to be far less than the $1 billion that Shazam was valued at in its most recent fund-raising round in 2015. Over the years, Shazam has been a frequent subject of speculation about an initial public offering.

A spokesman for Apple declined to comment, and representatives of Shazam could not be immediately reached.

Shazam’s technology was introduced in 2002 as a dial-up service that would listen to a song for 30 seconds and send its user a text message identifying it. It eventually became one of the most popular mobile apps on Apple’s App Store.

It even became a hit with music executives, who consulted it to see how listeners were responding to new songs, and used its maps feature to see whether that new track was doing better in, say, Buffalo or Detroit.

Shazam has lost some of its shine to newer services like Spotify and Snapchat, but remains a popular feature. Last year, the company said that it had surpassed a billion mobile downloads and was used by “hundreds of millions of people each month.”

In 2016, Shazam had about $54 million in revenue and $4.9 million in net losses, according to public filings in Britain, where the company is based. That performance was an improvement over 2015, when the company reported $47 million in revenue and $22 million in losses.

Content originally published on https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/08/business/media/apple-shazam.html by BEN SISARIO