Friday, September 28, 2018

Why Did Apple Spend $400M to Acquire Shazam?

Daniel Eran Dilger:

Virtually every one of Apple’s recent acquisitions can be directly linked to the launch of serious, significant new features or to embellishing core initiatives designed to help sell its hardware, including Face ID (Faceshift, Emotient, and Perceptio); Siri (VocalIQ); Photos and CoreML (Turi, Tuplejump, Lattice Data, Regaind); Maps (Coherent Navigation, Mapsense, and; wireless charging (PowerbyProxi) and so on.

Further, the reported $400 million price tag on the Shazam acquisition puts it in a rare category of large purchases that Apple has made which involved revolutionary changes to its platforms. Only Anobit (affordable flash storage), AuthenTec (Touch ID), PrimeSense (TrueDepth imaging) and NeXT itself are in the same ballpark apart from Beats—Apple’s solitary, incomparably larger $3 billion purchase that delivered both the core of Apple Music and an already profitable audio products subsidiary paired with a popular, global brand.


Given Apple’s interest in building traction for ARKit, which launched last fall as the world’s largest AR platform, it seems pretty clear that Apple bought Shazam, not really for any particular technology as Apple has already developed its own core visual recognition engine for iOS, but because Shazam has developed significant relationships with global brands to make use of AR as a way to engage with audiences.


With the development of ARKit, Apple has now created a new "mixed reality" world of app experiences that mesh right into the real world. At its last two WWDC events, Apple has introduced various games as primary examples of using ARKit. However, Shazam has already developed marketing campaigns that take advantage of ARKit to build engaging experiences—very similar to the core concept of iAd many years ago.

Update (2018-10-02): Scott Perry:

You can tell Apple has finished its acquisition of Shazam because none of the Spotify integration seems to work anymore. Even basic stuff like deep linking is busted.

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