Apple Inc.

Apple buys music-recognition app Shazam

Apple buys music-recognition app Shazam

For nearly 10 years, Shazam has been something of a one-trick pony. Its app has a single purpose: identify a song that’s playing and connect users to a service to download or stream it.

But behind the nifty song-detecting technology lies something that could explain why Apple is buying Shazam for a reported sum of $400 million — its treasure trove of data.

The British company got its start in 2002 by offering a phone service that helped people identify music. Users dialed 2580, held their cellphones to a source of music, and Shazam responded with a text message containing the name of the artist...

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