Apple officially owns music tagging service Shazam. After confirming plans to buy the company in December 2017, Apple announced today that the deal has closed and it is removing ads from the service.

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“Apple and Shazam have a long history together. Shazam was one of the first apps available when we launched the App Store and has become a favorite app for music fans everywhere,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music. “With a shared love of music and innovation, we are thrilled to bring our teams together to provide users even more great ways to discover, experience and enjoy music.”

Shazam previously offered two versions of its app: a free version with ads, and a paid “Encore” version without ads. Apple will presumably integrate Shazam closer with Apple Music and Siri in the future.

Siri has long relied on Shazam for recognizing music through a licensing agreement, but the feature doesn’t work automatically without asking Siri to name a tune. Perhaps that will change now that Apple owns the service and can control the whole privacy stack.

Shazam also includes a feature that shows lyrics to songs in real time — not just as a text reference — something Apple Music hasn’t matched yet.

Apple says Shazam has been downloaded more than 1 billion times globally and currently tags 20 million songs each day.

The acquisition could have closed much sooner if it weren’t for a months-long regulatory investigation in Europe that ultimately ended with no conditions set. Regulators were initially concerned that Apple Music could have an unfair advantage if Apple took control of Shazam.

Shazam currently promotes both Apple Music and Spotify when tagging identified songs. It’s possible Apple will axe the Spotify integration now that it owns the music tagging service. The Android apps are likely safe for now, however, as Apple Music is offered on Google’s mobile operating system as well — at least until Shazam possibly gets rolled into Apple Music … if that happens.


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