Apple is reportedly in talks to acquire Shazam, according to TechCrunch, in a deal worth $400 million.
The Cupertino company is apparently interested in Shazam’s augmented reality platform, which is built on visual recognition technology that allows users to scan magazines, book, and more. The technology is not unlike Google Lens.
From that perspective, Apple could use that technology to expand the augmented reality capabilities built into iOS. Imagine the next iPhone being able to recognize important landmarks, signage, and more, which could then be integrated into apps like Maps.
Of course, Shazam’s bread and butter is in identifying songs, movies, and TV shows—technology that reportedly drives 10 percent of all digital download sales. If Apple acquired Shazam, it would no longer be required to pay Shazam a cut for sending users to the iTunes Store.
The acquisition could also potentially affect some of Apple’s biggest competitors. When Shazam recognizes a song, it also points users to Spotify and Google Play Music—reportedly to the tune of 1 million clicks per day. Apple could cut that altogether if it wanted to.
Selfishly, I’d love to see the next iPhone integrate a “Now Playing” feature into its lock screen, similar to what’s offered by the Pixel 2. That feature always listens for songs playing in the background and displays the artist name and title of that song on the lockscreen.
TechCrunch claims a deal will be made in the next few days. We’ll have that news if and when an announcement is made.