How do you compete with Shazam and Apple if you’re in the music recognition business?

Apple’s buyout of music recognition app Shazam for $400 million this year was met with an investigation by European Commission regulators before the deal could go through.

“Our investigation aims to ensure that music fans… won’t face less choice as a result of this proposed merger,” explained competition policy commissioner Margrethe Vestager in the statement released in April.

The EC was concerned that Apple would remove the option to listen to music discovered through Shazam on other streaming services and, that Shazam’s data would be used to target customers of competing streaming services.

One thing that wasn’t really mentioned or considered (even by MBW, when we explored how the acquisition could change music streaming forever) was the effect  the deal would have on other music recognition firms.

So the question is, how do you now compete with Shazam and Apple if you’re in the music recognition business?

Answer: License your technology to everyone else.

That’s exactly what SoundHound has done.

The company’s Music Recognition feature is now available on request, via its Houndify voice AI platform, allowing brands and developers to license the music search technology for use within their software interfaces, or to access via voice queries.

Houndify’s partners already include Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel, Vauxhall, Nvidia (cars), Samsung (IoT platforms), Onkyo (speakers), Motorola (phones) and more.

In May, SoundHound announced an alliance with a group of strategic investors, with a combined reach of over two billion users globally.

The alliance includes Tencent Holdings, Daimler AG, Hyundai Motor Company, Midea Group, and Orange S.A.

The company’s proprietary music recognition technology is a main feature of its music search, discover and play app, SoundHound, which has over 310 million downloads globally across iOS and Android devices.

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The app also includes unique sing/hum recognition technology and “LiveLyrics”, as well as integrated playback from major music streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music.

“Now, by enabling access to it through our Houndify platform, we offer our partners a killer feature for their own products and user experience.”

James Hom, SoundHound

SoundHound’s Houndify voice and conversational AI platform understands complicated queries and context, such as the user’s location, previous queries, and compound criteria including exclusion.

And according to SoundHound, Houndify is now the “first independent AI platform that enables developers and business owners to deploy a conversational interface and retain control of their brands and users”.

“SoundHound has been at the forefront of building music recognition technologies for over a decade,” said James Hom, co-founder and VP of Products at SoundHound Inc.

“Now, by enabling access to it through our Houndify platform, we offer our partners a killer feature for their own products and user experience.”Music Business Worldwide