clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Apple has bought Shazam, the music recognition app

Somewhat unusual for Apple: They’re acknowledging the $400 million deal in public.

Apple Holds Product Launch Event At New Campus In Cupertino
What are you going to do with your new music app, Tim Cook?
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

That Apple-Shazam deal we told you about Friday? It’s official now. Apple says so.

Here is the standard language Apple uses to acknowledge that yes, it has bought a company: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Note this language doesn’t even include the name of the company Apple is sort of acknowledging that it has bought.

But for whatever reason, Apple is getting a little bit more verbose when it comes to Shazam, the music-identification app it is buying for an estimated $400 million.

Here’s today’s statement from Apple comms:

“We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple. 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. 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.”

Note that Apple references “approval of today’s agreement,” which is also unusual. Normally Apple just buys a company and that’s that. So Apple presumably thinks that it will need some sort of regulatory approval to get the deal done — perhaps that’s because Shazam is based in the U.K. I’ll update if Apple provides any info.

One other thought: While Shazam has played up its ability to do more than just recognize a song that’s playing — it has a “visual Shazam” capability that lets you use your camera to ID objects — my hunch is that Apple is interested, first and foremost, in Shazam’s core utility. I imagine it will eventually be integrated directly into the iPhone’s iOS.

And for press release completists, here’s the Shazam announcement:

“We are excited to announce that Shazam has entered into an agreement to become part of Apple. Shazam is one of the highest rated apps in the world and loved by hundreds of millions of users and we can’t imagine a better home for Shazam to enable us to continue innovating and delivering magic for our users.”

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.