Music recognition app maker Shazam reportedly received investment from three of the world’s largest record labels, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group.
Sources told The Wall Street Journal that each company spent $3 million to acquire a stake in Shazam, which was recently valued at around $500 million. The shares were purchased from a single third-party investor, according to the sources.
Shazam was unable to provide a comment in response to a request by Mobile World Live.
As well as recognising and tagging music, TV and film content, users can also use Shazam to share music they tag on social media, download it from iTunes or stream it on subscription services. This functionality is likely to be of most interest to record labels.
Shazam claims to have more than 450 million users globally, and more than 90 million monthly active users. It said last year it was preparing for an IPO.
The music companies have all dabbled in technology, with Sony having its own music recognition service called TrackID.
Warner Music Group owner Access Industries has a stake in French music subscription service Deezer, while Universal owns a 14 per cent stake in Beats Electronics, rumoured to be a $3.2 billion acquisition target of Apple.
Warner and Shazam announced a partnership in April allowing the record label to ramp up artist promotion on Shazam, make of the music recognition service’s data and launch a record label featuring artists discovered by the service.
The latest investment is significantly less than the $40 million America Movil invested in July last year as part of “a strategic business collaboration for the Americas”.
Separately, Shazam announced that it is a launch partner for the recently-announced Facebook Audience Network, meaning Facebook mobile users will receive customised ads within Shazam tag results.