Apple Buys Song-Recognition App Shazam

Dec 12, 2017
Originally published on December 12, 2017 8:28 am
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OK. Quick question for you - what is this song?


INSKEEP: OK, yeah, you know it, but do you know it, the name? Well, if the name lingers just outside your memory, you can call on help. Let some of it play into a smartphone app called Shazam, and its music recognition software should tell you it's "Vogue" by Madonna.


We're telling you all this not just because we love to vogue - though we do - but also because Shazam is in the news. Apple says it is buying Shazam, a service people used even before many of us had smartphones.

INSKEEP: At first, you would call a number on your cellphone and get a message back with the song title.

KELLY: And when Apple launched its App Store in 2008, Shazam was featured in the advertisements.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) You know when you don't know what song is playing and it's driving you crazy? With the Shazam app from the App Store, you just hold up your iPhone to the song.

INSKEEP: OK, now Apple is going to own that app. Tech analysts think that some of the value here will be the vast amounts of data available about who is searching for music where. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.