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The richest man in the world invests $40 million in Shazam: Sony, Universal and Warner follow the lead

Shazam Entertainment is a music-identification app that is proving to be very attractive to the world's biggest rec...

The richest man in the world invests $40 million in Shazam: Sony, Universal and Warner follow the lead

Shazam Entertainment is a music-identification app that is proving to be very attractive to the world's biggest record companies. Some are investing small, others significantly; either way, the cash is coming in.  

 

Vivendi's Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group owner Access Industries (the holding company of billionaire Len Blavatnik), and Sony Music Entertainment are each investing $3 million in Shazam according to those in the know. All of the shares were purchased from a single third-party investor.


 

What is Shazam's value?

The most recent valuation of the app was $500 million, according to a spokeswoman who refused to comment on the labels' stakes. Shazam's greatest value is in its role as a marketing partner: it allows users to share songs on social media, download from Apple's iTunes Store, and stream with subscription services like Spotify. Universal, Warner, and Sony all own a stake in Spotify, and Universal owns 14% of Beats Electronic (which Apple is in talks to buy for $3.2 billion).

 

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The race to invest in Shazam comes after Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim invested $40 million in July 2013.

 

What does Shazam offer?

Shazam offers three versions of its apps: the free-to-try program “Shazam,” a pay-to-play program called “Shazam Encore,” and the most recently developed “(Shazam)RED,” launched in 2009.

 

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The apps help people identify music they hear on the radio or in other public settings. It also gives users the opportunity to buy songs on iTunes, watch music videos on YouTube, and look up lyrics, among other features. Shazam is also great for identifying TV shows-- after only a few lines of dialogue it can find the IMDB page, provide Wikipedia links, and generate a list of tracks used in the show.

 

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