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Shazam valued at $1bn after latest funding round

The music recognition app Shazam has been valued at $1 billion, despite not making profit in the last eight years.

The news comes after the music discovery service received an additional $30 million in its latest funding round.

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According to sources within the company, the unnamed investors have not previously provided Shazam with any funding.

Shazam uses a smartphone or desktop’s built-in microphone to gather an audio clip from a song before comparing the sample to its database of tracks. The app then tells the user information about the song, including the artist name and the album it is found on. The service also includes links to iTunes, Spotify and YouTube, where users can listen to or purchase the track.

In October last year, Shazam revealed that its technology had been used to identify more than 15 billion songs.

It initially launched in 1999 as a text-message service which charged the user 50p for every song identified. However, since its launch as a smartphone app for Apple’s iPhone in 2008, Shazam has been free to use.

The company’s main revenue stream is now the percentage it receives from any sales that come via the platform, although it does also receive some income from in-app advertising.

Shazam has now received a total of $125 million in funding over the past eight years, according to the Guardian. While this has been accompanied by increased revenue figures, losses have continued to grow, with the company posting a deficit of £2 million in 2013.

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Shazam’s latest investment comes at a time when the app is beginning to broaden its horizons. As well as being capable of identifying films and TV shows, the app recently announced its own built-in music player, making it a more competitive presence in the digital music industry.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.