You have to take your hat off to Shazam for persistence and never giving up. Yes this an exit and a good strategy for Apple but there will be a lot of people who won't be making much return out of this so called Unicorn.
With over a billion downloads globally and usage of 50% you would've thought they should have been able to commercialise those eyeballs someway, obviously not. This is a huge indicator that the thinking of 'get the eyeballs and the dollars will follow' isn't the strategy any longer, but what is?
The fascinating thing to consider is what will Apple do with this old unicorn from here? Are they going for a big overhaul of Siri? Will this see them take on the world of content identification and then resulting in more purchasing of content? Surely they are taking on the world of Amazon and Google head on with this play. Allowing all of their devices to be able to identify any form of content and then purchase it will increase all of their content plays, iTunes, Apple Music and the Alexa battlepiece of HomePod.
What i do love about the Shazam story is their ability to dig in and commit to their vision. They have gone from an idea and vision that one day you should be able to not only recognise music, but buy songs, build out playlist and see what friends were tagging and this was 7 years before the iPhone existed and 9 years before the app store came out. Starting out with a IVR and SMS service where users paid for every Shazam to the app experience of today, there has been a lot of innovation and some amazing drivers and this would be exactly what Apple is seeing is worth $400 million.
Now lets see what Apple can make of this dying Unicorn
Founded in 2004, in the pre-iPhone era, Shazam represents a remarkable tale of endurance. But just three years ago, the company was reportedly on track for a $1.2 billion IPO as its music-recognition app passed the 100 million download mark. Then, just a few months later, there was talk that the IPO had been pushed back to 2015. Instead, the company raised $30 million in a Series F funding round in February 2015, bringing its total funding to $143.5 million.