UPDATED at 9:30 a.m. Monday: Apple issued a statement confirming earlier reports that it’s acquiring the name-that-tune app Shazam to bulk up its music offering.
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.
Earlier: Apple may be close to acquiring multi-faceted audio-video app Shazam, which lets users identify any song, TV show, film, or advertisement by reviewing a clip. It then matches that to content relevant to the search
A report by the TechCrunch news service indicates the deal could be announced as soon as Monday. Speculation on the deal price had large spreads, with some valuing the company as low as $400 million. The company was valued at $1.02 billion in its last funding round in 2015.
Shazam has been rumored to be an acquisition target this year as its losses declined. The company has a glittering array of partners, including venture capitalists Kleiner Perkins and London’s DN Captial, plus content providers Sony Music, Universal Music and Access Industries (owner of Warner Music). Shazam has allegedly raised $143.5 million from that group.
The app’s last reported download tally was more than one billion, but the number dates to September, 2016. Shazam reported $54 million in revenues last September for its 2016 fiscal year, which marked a renaissance from declines between 2014 and 2015 FY. Still, Shazam took a statutory pre-tax loss of $5.3 million in 2016. The good news from that was that it was only a quarter of its reported $20 million in losses from 2015.
But in the world of apps, high numbers do not always translate into profits: In September 2017, reported $54 million in revenues in its 2016 fiscal year, which was a turnaround from the declines between FY 2014 and 2015. It made a statutory pre-tax loss of $5.3 million in 2016, which was still a loss but significantly smaller than its massive loss in FY 2015 of more than $15 million.
Shazam launched in 1999 as an SMS code service. It has since grown into a company that not only spotlights music is, but can tell you what famous people have on their playlists, engage in McDonald’s Karaoke, or get on board with VR racing. Other apps like Snapchat and Apple’s Siri are integrated, and it has a major revenue stream from sending customers to streamers like Apple Music, which pays for converted purchases by referrrals.
Last month, Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2017 fourth quarter ended September 30, 2017. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $52.6 billion, an increase of 12 percent from the year-ago quarter, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.07, up 24 percent. International sales accounted for 62 percent of the quarter’s revenue.