Tech giant Apple is buying Shazam, an app that can identify songs playing near a user's phone.
According to TechCrunch, Snapchat and Spotify were among the other companies that expressed interest in purchasing Shazam, which has been downloaded over a billion times across a wide array of platforms.
It would remain to be seen how Apple would integrate Shazam, which also faces competitors such as SoundHound. On Tuesday, it was ranked 92 on the Apples iTunes most downloaded apps chart, and it didn't even crack the top 100 apps in the Google Play Store. Shazam is now one of the highest rated apps on the App Store, and allows users to discover new music by holding their smartphones near a speaker. That would be one of Apple's largest acquisitions ever, approaching the size of its 1996 purchase of Next Computer Inc. which brought co-founder Steve Jobs back to the company.
Shazam, which is based in London, said past year that it had reached one billion downloads on smartphones. "We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today's agreement". While the company has not revealed the financial terms of the deal, it is reportedly worth around $400 million.
While Shazam has been popular with customers, it struggled turning its clever music service into a business that justified its valuation.More news: It's Time to Send Americans to the Moon Again
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Shazam will be one of Apple's biggest deals in years.
Another British start-up, Blippar, has already demonstrated that merging real-world object recognition and AR has uses beyond advertising - it offers a way to show information about people seen standing nearby.
"Spotify has made the discovery of new music front and centre of what makes it a compelling proposition", said Mark Mulligan, from the consultancy Midia Research.
Siri began drawing upon Shazam's technology to answer questions about songs as part of a 2014 update to the iPhone's operating system. Shazam has visual recognition tech and an AR platform for brandsthat could help in the development of a Google Lens-type feature and improve its ARKit efforts.