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Apple Closes Shazam Acquisition, Starts Phasing Out Ads

Apple now officially owns Shazam: The Cupertino computer maker announced Monday that its acquisition of Shazam has closed, and that it plans to make the music recognition service available ad-free to consumers soon.

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 Apple music VP Oliver Schusser in a statement. “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.”

Apple announced its intent to acquire Shazam at the end of last year. The company didn’t disclose the acquisition price at the time, but it reportedly spent $400 million on Shazam — significantly less than Shazam’s previous valuation of $1 billion. The European Union had given Apple its go-ahead for the acquisition of U.K.-based Shazam earlier this month.

Shazam was founded in 1999 as a mobile music recognition service. After initially requiring users to call a certain number to identify a song, the company ultimately launched a mobile app that has since been downloaded over 1 billion times. The app is still being used to identify songs over 20 million times a day, Apple said Monday.

More recently, Shazam has branched out to also identify other types of media. It launched visual search in 2015, but failed to gain a lot of traction for the service. It has seen more success in a partnership with Fox for its competitive reality show “Beat Shazam.” The show, which has contestants trying to beat the company’s app in recognizing songs, first aired in May of last year, and recently was renewed for a third season.

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