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Apple Confirms it has Acquired Music Recognition App Shazam

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Apple confirmed Shazam acquistion on Monday. Image Source: Peter Kotoff/Shutterstock

Apple on Monday confirmed its acquisition of music recognition app Shazam, saying it’s “thrilled” to be gaining one of the consistently most popular apps in its App Store.

This news had previously been reported by TechCrunch, which had one source claiming the sale price was around $400 million—far less than Shazam’s $1 billion valuation at its last round of funding.

“Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users,” the company said in a statement. “We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today’s agreement

Shazam is arguably best known for its music recognition technology; tap the “Shazam” button in the app for smartphones and it will usually identify whatever song it hears after just a few seconds. Shazam has become so popular that there’s even a network TV game show called Beat Shazam hosted by Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx. In it, contestants must guess songs faster than Shazam can.

Shazam has also invested in second-screen TV viewing features, image recognition, and augmented reality services and products. Shazam’s talent and technology could be used in several of Apple’s products and initiatives, including Apple Music, Siri, and augmented reality.

Shazam already integrates with Siri. You can ask Siri “what song is this” while a song is playing externally, and, after a long pause, it will provide you with the name and artist, along with a “buy” button for Apple Music/iTunes gussied up with Shazam logo. Currently, the Shazam app allows you to add a song to your Spotify playlist after identifying it, regardless of whether you’re using an Apple or Android phone. We don’t know yet what, if anything, will happen to that feature because of the Apple purchase.

The acquisition is probably about much more than the widely known music recognition feature. Shazam has been developing augmented reality features that allow brands to serve up customized ads and transaction opportunities to users who use the app on visual or aural cues around them. Apple’s Tim Cook has made it abundantly clear that he expects augmented reality to be one of Apple’s biggest areas of growth and investment. Much of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X’s hardware and software is built with AR specifically in mind, and Apple is even rumored to be working on a pair of AR goggles, though it will likely be a while before we see those in the market, if we do at all.

Apple generally does not spell out the details of how it plans to use acquisitions, but there are a number of areas where Shazam’s current business overlaps with that of Apple’s, making for an interesting range of possibilities for where and how the two will work together.

Shazam’s core business is in music recognition: people use its app to capture a clip of music that is playing, and then it matches that against its large database to tell you what you are listening to, a business that has brought the company over 1 billion downloads of its app to date.

Over the years Shazam has augmented this with a number of other services: it sends users through to other sites to download and listen to the music at their leisure; it provides more information to users about the music and the artists behind it; it keeps charts of popular music based on the clips that it hears and that people want to identify. It’s also branched out into more marketing services based on visual recognition — essentially augmented reality plays where users can capture snaps of images that lead them to more content from a brand or another organization.

Through all of this, Shazam has developed some interesting partnerships, specifically with Apple and Spotify (who together get around 1 million referrals each month via Shazam), and Snapchat, which currently has an integration with Shazam where Snapchat users can “recognize music, engage with Shazam content, and send their music and artist discoveries as Snaps to their friends.” It is no surprise that these are also the three names that we heard were all approached and discussed an acquisition of the startup.

Shazam provided the following statement to TechCrunch on the acquisition.

“We are excited to announce that Shazam has entered into an agreement to become part of Apple. Shazam is one of the highest rated apps in the world and loved by hundreds of millions of users and we can’t imagine a better home for Shazam to enable us to continue innovating and delivering magic for our users.”

Notably, Shazam had a post-money valuation in its last round of over $1 billion — a far cry from the roughly $400 million that is being paid by Apple. The reason for this, one source says, is that for all of Shazam’s popularity and move into revenue-generating areas like marketing, the company never really found a solid business model for the long-term future.

“Shazam should have moved into streaming music years ago,” the source said, “which is one reason why the Apple deal makes so much sense.” Spotify, as a point of comparison, has healthy recurring revenues from subscriptions and Apple Music has both subscriptions and downloads — not to mention the wider use of Apple Music and the ecosystem pull it gives Apple for its wider hardware business. That hints at some interesting integrations coming up.

A Backstory on the Acquisition:

Apple and Shazam have had a friendly relationship for years, but the catalyst was that pending bid from Snap. As Recode first reported, the Snapchat parent had entertained buying the company.

It turns out that the conversations with Snap began about six months ago, after advisor Goldman Sachs drummed up interest. Snap was open to acquisition talks because its integration with Shazam’s music recognition technology had been going well.

Snap has had a volatile time on the stock market since it went public in March, and so Shazam was getting mixed messages about how much the social media platform would be willing to pay.

Shazam’s conversations with Apple began the following month, and they became exclusive about two months ago. From what we understand, the Spotify talks were earlier and couldn’t progress because of the price, and likely also the fact that Spotify, which is gearing up for a public listing, has a lot on its plate right now.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, saw an opportunity for Shazam to help build out its music business. Since the days of the iPod, music has long been a priority for the company. Lately, it’s been focused on enhancing its Spotify competitor, Apple Music.

Cue believes that Shazam could help improve its offering and liked that the app had moved beyond music discovery, building out artist pages and other music-related content.

Shazam already integrates with Apple Music, referring many of its 100 million users to play songs on its platform. It also lets users buy the music directly via iTunes.

Techcrunch and Apple Music contributed to this report.

 

LeNora Millen               12-11-17

 

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Business

DaVita Certified as Freedom-Centered Workplace by WorldBlu.

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This is the 11th Consecutive Year the company has been recognized on the list, formerly known as “most democratic”workplaces.

DaVita Kidney Care a division from DaVita Inc.leading provider of kidney care services in the United States, announced on 12th April that the company has been certified as a Freedom-Centered Workplace by WorldBlu.

It’s very interesting the fact that in every respect, down to long-established financial and benefits-related practices, DaVita operates less as a company and more as a Village, valuing the voice of its teammates in many instances and decision making.

DaVita also emphasizes collaboration and teamwork to deliver optimal patient outcomes.

DaVita has been recognized as a clinical leader in two reports from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services – CMS – Five-Star Quality Rating Program and the Quality Incentive Program.

WorldBlu’s procedure in electing Organizations is by providing an Assessment to Teammates in the Organization as the first step of the Procedure.

In order to be eligible for a spot on the Worldblu List of Most Freedom-Centered Workplaces™ is after the completion from the Assessment Test by the Teammates, a survey evaluating their practice based on the WorldBlu 10 Principles of Organizational Democracy™ is given to the Teammates.

The Assessment was developed on a decade of research into what makes a successful freedom-centered company.

Organizations from the for-profit and non-profit sectors that have been in operation for at least one full year and have five or more employees can apply for the certification.

As of Dec. 31, 2017, DaVita Kidney Care operated or provided administrative services at 2,510 outpatient dialysis centers located in the United States serving approximately 198,000 patients. The Company also operated 237 Outpatient Dialysis centers located in 11 Countries outside the United States.

DaVita Kidney Care supports numerous programs dedicated to creating positive, sustainable change in communities around the world.

DaVita Kidney Care supports numerous programs dedicated to creating positive, sustainable change in communities around the world.

Visit DaVita at http://davita.com for more information.

Source: DaVita

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Business

The Old You VS. The New You

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The old you is not qualified to take you to your new destination… 

I remember those nights sleeping in the car and sleeping in the dark hallways of projects buildings. I remember I could’ve gone to my Mom’s house at any point.  I could have knocked on the door and she would have let me in. But I would have had to admit that I had made mistakes.  And I would have had to live by her rules. So because of that, I was out on the streets. I was eating terrible food.  I would eat cups noodles daily, I would cut up Slim-Jims and add them in. That would be my protein. I just didn’t want to follow the rules, and follow the process.

The old me didn’t understand that great processes are what built great empires. The old me didn’t recognize that I was already following a process, a unsuccessful one. I can go on and on about the gaps that were stopping the old me from moving forward. By me taking the time that was needed to understand how these gaps were negatively impacting my life I was able to make the necessary adjustments and give birth to the New Me. This is not something that you only do one time and be done. You will have to create a New You for every new level that you wish to dominate.

Take some time to sit down and identify the gaps in your life that are holding you back from creating the new you and dominating a new level.

FaceBook: @re5ql

IG: Pierre5ql

Email: PierreEvan@PierreEvans.com

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Business

Let’s Be Honest

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You must believe that the person in the mirror controls your future.

 

You’re in the hunt to achieve something, and that’s great! I want you to think about how you felt when you first came up with the idea: you were excited and your body was “on fire” with anticipation! You’ve got to get that feeling back. When that feeling goes away, that means that you’re “fire is going out”. When that happens, you need to find something to rekindle that fire. You have to refuel your body when it feels hungry or tired. You have to refuel your car when the gas tank approaches empty, it’s the same with your goals. When you realize this, you’ll try to keep the (goal) tank as close to full as possible. Find a way to stay self-motivated when chasing your goals. When you find a way to do this, your life accelerates, your goals come closer and you’ll find the energy to overcome obstacles and setbacks.

It is so easy for us to be honest about what other people should be doing with their lives, whether it’s about family, business, or personal matters. We take our time to think it over and give them our two cents whether they want it or not, and we even say, “I’m just being honest.” It’s not so easy to be honest with ourselves, so we just figure out a way to justify every situation in our favor. When I started to be honest with myself about everything in my life—such as being a high school dropout, a drug dealer, homeless, disrespectful to my mother and my community, etc.—I was able to make the necessary changes to keep my fire lit. 

FaceBook: Re5ql

IG: Pierre5ql

Email: PierreEvans@PierreEvans.com

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