Apple to Incorporate Shazam Into iOS

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You know when you hear a song that you like but you’re not sure what it’s called or who sings it? For years, the go-to app for many people in this scenario has been Shazam, a clever piece of software that listens through your phone’s microphone and can identify whatever song it hears. According to Bloomberg, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is preparing to partner with Shazam to incorporate the app’s musical intelligence into iOS. That means every iPhone and iPad will be able to “Shazam” music without having to install a separate app.

Currently when you use Shazam, the app lists all sorts of information about the song that’s playing. It tells you the artist, song, and album, and displays links to the artist’s biography, discography, and next concert nearby, if that act happens to have a tour scheduled. It even gives you links to download the song in iTunes or listen to it on Spotify and Rdio. Presumably, the version of Shazam that will be incorporated into iOS will forego the other music services.

The way Shazam will be incorporated into iOS will be similar to how Twitter and Facebook are currently implemented, meaning you won’t have to download the Shazam app to use the service. The Shazam functionality will also work with iOS’s digital assistant, Siri, so you’ll be able to ask her what song is playing and she’ll be able to tell you and display the relevant information on your screen.

Shazam CEO Rich Riley has said publicly that the London-based company has been considering an initial public offering. Despite how popular the service already is, with more than 90 million monthly users, this deal with Apple could expand Shazam’s reach considerably.

Although more people are turning to services like Spotify and Rdio for their music-listening needs these days, iTunes remains the world’s largest music seller. To help keep a leg up on the competition, Apple introduced a Pandora-like music streaming service into its Music app last year. It’s called iTunes Radio, and it lets you choose a song or artist to use as a “seed,” and then it automatically plays songs it assumes you will like based on your pick. According to Bloomberg, Apple plans to expand iTunes Radio to countries other than the U.S. this year.

Apple has reportedly even considered releasing a subscription-based music service to compete with Spotify, Rdio, and Beats Music, but the company has yet to pull the trigger on it. Even though song sales through iTunes are declining in large part due to those kinds of services, Apple is still making enough money through song sales to hold off for now.

Other ways the company has tried to bolster its iTunes music sales, reports Bloomberg, is “by asking music companies to give iTunes earlier access to their newest music. In exchange, Apple would agree to sell an entire album, which costs more, rather than just individual songs until the CD is released.”

None of the sources Bloomberg spoke with wished to have their names released, since Apple has yet to make public announcements about Shazam integration or the expansion of iTunes Radio. Both Shazam and Apple declined to comment on the story by the wire service.

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