Shazam announced today that it has reacquired ownership of its Audio Recognition technology from business partner BMI in a new agreement that will allow the music discovery app company to expand its services.
The new agreement reinstates Shazam's IP ownership, while BMI continues its access to the service in the business-to-business space. The performance rights organization will also become a shareholder in the company.
The London-based company originally sold its intellectual property rights to BMI in 2005 to fund the technology's development. Since then, the service has gathered over 165 million users worldwide, according to Shazam CEO Andrew Fisher.
"Shazam has seen fantastic growth in the last year," Fisher explained in a statement. "This is the optimal time to repurchase the technology and patents so that we can continue to add to and protect our growing portfolio which will, in turn, allow Shazam to broaden our range of products, further developing Shazam for TV and other innovative offerings."
With the renewed ownership, the company says it intends to concentrate its efforts on "unrestricted" integration of the recognition technology into its consumer-facing products, as well as adding to its IP portfolio. BMI will continue to provide the technology to its members in its quiver of recognition services, and will work with Shazam on both co-marketing initiatives and future services geared toward the performance rights organization's community.
"We are thrilled to enter into a new chapter in our long-term relationship with Shazam," said BMI President and CEO Del Bryant said. "This agreement will allow Shazam to build on its tremendous success in creating consumer-facing services while allowing BMI to continue to deliver commercial recognition services for our customers through a perpetual, worldwide license, and to benefit from an ongoing technology collaboration with Shazam."