Big Shazam plans

Big Shazam plans

Cashing in on the advertising powerhouse that is mobile and TV working in combination is the priority for Shazam, the company’s vice president of advertising has told B&T.

B&T Magazine
Posted by B&T Magazine

Visiting Australia from the UK to speak at Ad:Tech in Sydney this week, Miles Lewis told B&T: “Huge budgets still goes on TV advertising – Shazam is a way to make that advertising more engaging. And it’s the app that consumers already use.

“The market is busy, all the dual screen apps are competing. But most consumers do not have the time or the inclination to have thousands of apps on their phone. The beauty of Shazam is it’s the app that’s already used for music – and it’s so simple.”

Shazam for TV was launched in 2011 to better engage consumers with television advertising. Shazam-enabled ads allow the consumer to hit the Shazam button during the ad to gain access to related content on their smartphone.

Lewis said: “An awful lot of ads have music in them, so people are using Shazam to find out what the music is in the ad. But people can also use Shazam to find out more about the brand. By hitting the Shazam button during the ad, the user is taken to a page of content – whatever the brand wants them to see.”

To boost this in Australia, the company opened an office here in January, so they can speak to agencies and marketers to educate the local market.

Twenty Australian ads have so far been Shazam-enabled, starting with a Diageo spot in 2011. Shazam has since worked with clients including Blackmores, AMEX, WeightWatchers and Paramount Pictures, whose TV ads have been Shazam-enabled.

In the States, TV programs are also Shazam-enabled. Being Human was the first TV series to work with the app, allowing the consumer to discover content around the show on their smartphone.

“We now Shazam-enable 95% of US TV programming, but nothing elsewhere,” said Lewis. “The plan is very much to bring that Shazam-enabled programming to other countries. It’s a huge infrastructure plan and there is room for massive growth.”

Steven Sos, regional sales director for Shazam in Australia, said: “The opportunity certainly exists. We’ve done some work with subscription TV channels for non-live content, so we see that as potentially happening soon.”

Shazam is also working behind the scenes to develop ways it can work with radio and with live music.

Sos said: “One of the challenges is how to let the consumer know that a radio piece is Shazam-enabled.”

Lewis added: “Being able to Shazam live music, that’s the holy grail. Lots of research is going on into that, but it’s a big technological challenge, as each piece of music has its own fingerprint. In live music, riffs are slightly longer or shorter, and the pitch might be slightly different, so it doesn’t quite match the fingerprint.”

The stats:

  • Shazam is 12 years old
  • Globally, it has been downloaded 300 million times
  • There are 7 million Shazam users in Australia
  • Shazam receives 10 million tags a day (a tag being every time someone hits the ‘Shazam’ button)
  • In Australia, there are 11 million Shazam tags a month, or 360,000 a day
  • Internationally, Shazam has doubled in size since February 2012