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Apple on Monday confirmed its plan to buy Shazam, the UK-based music-recognition app, in its biggest acquisition since Beats three years ago.
“We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple,” Apple said on Monday. “Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users. We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today’s agreement.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. People familiar with the matter have pointed to a valuation of around $400m — less than half Shazam’s valuation after a private financing in 2015.
Acquisitions as large as this are relatively rare for Apple, which typically buys around a dozen smaller start-ups over the course of a year.
A $400m price ranks Shazam alongside some of its largest deals in the last 20 years, including 2012’s purchase of security company AuthenTec, which went on to power the iPhone’s TouchID system; PrimeSense, the Israeli maker of 3D scanning technology that helped to create the iPhone X’s face-matching TrueDepth camera; and NeXT, the 1997 software deal that saw Steve Jobs return to the company he founded.
Apple’s largest outright acquisition by far was Beats Electronics for $3bn in 2014, which formed the basis of the Apple Music streaming service.
Shazam is already integrated with Apple Music and the Siri virtual assistant, as well as Snapchat and Spotify. It could also help iPhone owners to discover the music they hear around them using its patented audio-recognition system.
“We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple,” the iPhone maker said on Monday. “Since the launch of the App Store, Shazam has consistently ranked as one of the most popular apps for iOS. Today, it’s used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, across multiple platforms.”
In its own statement, Shazam said that it had “entered into an agreement to become part of Apple”.
“We can’t imagine a better home for Shazam to enable us to continue innovating and delivering magic for our users,” the company said.