Apple and song-ID service Shazam have struck a deal that could see elements of the popular cross-platform music app brought to a future version of iOS, sources with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg Wednesday.
As anyone familiar with Shazam knows, the software allows users to quickly identify a music track simply by holding a mobile device’s mic close to the sound source and waiting a few seconds for the result to return.
It’s not entirely clear if the app itself would be baked into iOS or if its technology would be incorporated into Apple’s mobile operating system in other ways. For example, Bloomberg’s report talks of a song-discovery “feature” being integrated into iOS, while also suggesting it could be incorporated in the same way as the Twitter app, which has been baked into the operating system of iDevices since version 5.
The report also says Shazam is likely to be integrated with Siri, allowing a user to ask, “What song is playing?”, in which case everyone within a five-meter radius will also discover the name of the music track you wanted to ID. Google Now for Android has long had a voice-activated song-ID tool, while Microsoft’s new virtual assistant for Windows Phone, Cortana, also offers a similar feature, so many will see Apple’s entry into the space as long overdue.
The expected move to make Shazam an element of iOS appears to be part of Apple’s rumored plans to overhaul its music services, news of which first emerged last week. The company is apparently becoming increasingly concerned about the decline in song downloads from its iTunes store as more people turn to music streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora.
Apple launched its own music streaming service, iTunes Radio, last year, though few users are thought to be clicking through to the iTunes store to purchase tracks. Having Shazam installed on iDevices could certainly help to drive a few more download sales for Apple, as the app always provides links to the iTunes store whenever it identifies a track.
Shazam’s executive vice president, David Jones, revealed last month that the app is currently on about 20 percent of iPhones in the US, with the figure jumping to between 30 and 40 percent for some European nations. While Shazam’s revenue from users clicking through to iTunes and similar download stores currently tops $300 million a year, Apple’s reported tie-up with the company could certainly help to boost profits for both parties.