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Apple Completes Shazam Buyout, Plans to Phase out Ads

Tech giant doesn’t disclose terms of deal, which has been reported to cost up to $400 million

Apple has closed its buyout of Shazam Entertainment, the parent company of music discovery app Shazam, the company announced on Monday.

The deal for Shazam — best known for giving users song information within seconds of hearing the lyrics — was first reported last December. The London-based company boasts more than 100 million monthly users and has been downloaded 1 billion times, according to Apple’s Monday release.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although TechCrunch reported in 2017 it would cost Apple more than $400 million.

Perhaps most noteworthy from Apple’s announcement, Shazam will soon drop its ad-supported free tier, which will make it “ad-free for all users.”

Despite being used 20 million times each day, Shazam has struggled to find a sustainable business model. The company reported last fall it lost about $5 million during its 2016 fiscal year on £40.3 million (about $54 million) in revenue. That doesn’t matter much to Apple, though, which will leverage Shazam to gain insight into listener habits as it battles Spotify for streaming supremacy.

“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, in a statement on Monday. “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.”