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Shazam Tops 1 Billion Downloads and Achieves EBITDA Profitability

Press Releases   •   Sep 29, 2016 05:10 EDT

Shazam, one of the world’s most popular apps, today announced significant financial and user milestones.

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Shazam Partners With Red Bull For New Product Launch

News   •   Sep 13, 2016 07:00 EDT

Music identification app Shazam has announced it has teamed up with energy drink powerhouse Red Bull to help launch its new kiwi-apple flavour.

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Shazam Countdown Programming Kicks Off on Canadian Radio

News   •   Sep 02, 2016 07:00 EDT

9/2/2016 by Karen Bliss

Andrew Taggart of The Chainsmokers and Halsey perform onstage during the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 28, 2016 in New York City.

Theo Wargo/MTV1617/Getty Images for MTV

Andrew Taggart of The Chainsmokers and Halsey perform onstage during the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 28, 2016 in New York City.

Rogers Radio and Shazam, via Tapped Mobile, launched Canada's first Shazam countdown this week on three regional radio stations, KiSS 92.5 in Toronto, 91.7 THE BOUNCE in Edmonton and KiSS RADiO in Vancouver.

The Shazam @ 7 Countdown is a daily show, beginning at 7 p.m. local time.

In Toronto, show host Devo Brown called it "the most Shazam-ed songs in The 6 right now." A KiSS 92.5 bumper says the same thing. But that's not actually the case. The three stations are Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) and presumably people in each city are also using Shazam for hip-hop and rock tracks, along with other genres, so the seven songs are the ones that fit their format.

"The Shazam @ 7 Countdown is comprised of recently Shazam'd tracks and new and trending tracks from each market," Julie Adam, senior vice-president, Radio, Rogers, told Billboard in an email. "That said, Shazam trends influence each playlist, but if a song isn't going to resonate with our listeners, it doesn't make the countdown. We launched on the CHR stations in our biggest markets first, as the tracks primarily align with that genre of music."

A look at the top seven in all three markets over three of the first five countdowns reveal some common ground. Kungs vs Cookin' On 3 Burners' "This Girl" and The Chainsmokers ft Halsey's "Closer" appeared on every chart in either the No. 1 or No. 2 spot. Other songs to chart in two markets include DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber & MØ's "Cold Water," Flume ft. Kai's "Never Be Like You," Sia ft. Sean Paul's "Cheap Thrills" and Twenty One Pilots' "Heathens."

During the Toronto countdown, Brown told the listeners how to affect the chart. "You influence this by Shazam-ing your favorite song [or] being curious and discovering new music," he said.

At one point in the show he explained, "Open up that app, check out your songs. That's how they get on the countdown. It's up to date. It's the most Toronto countdown show you're going to get because it's all based on what you guys are Shazam-ing all day long."

Canadian smoothie retailer Booster Juice is the presenting sponsor "during their exclusive sponsorship integration period across Rogers Radio and digital platforms," but there are more sponsorship opportunities available, according to the Rogers press release.

For example, after Brown announced "Closer" as "the most Shazam-ed song in Toronto," he said when the song was over to open up Shazam hear a message about a contest to win a trip to Brazil.

The countdown is also accessible on each station's website, Facebook and Twitter pages, and apps for iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) and Android (phones and tablets).

"We're always striving to deliver innovative and engaging experiences and opportunities for both our listeners and our clients, and this partnership with Shazam checks every box," Adam said in a statement. "I use my Shazam app all the time. It's a complete game changer for discovering the songs we love, and allows us to really cater to the different tastes of our local listeners to bring them even more of the music they want in real time. There are definitely more exciting announcements to come as this partnership continues to evolve."

Rogers Radio and Shazam, via Tapped Mobile, launched Canada's first Shazam countdown this week on three regional radio stations, KiSS 92.5 in Toronto, 91.7 THE BOUNCE in Edmonton and KiSS RADiO in Vancouver.

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Beat Shazam: the music app's foray into TV could be magic

News   •   Aug 10, 2016 07:30 EDT

The normal route is for a TV show to build an audience and then launch an app as they’ve been told it extends their “engagement”. Shazam, the music recognition app, could have just flipped that thinking to become the first app to be made into a TV show.

Beat Shazam has been picked up by Fox in the US where it will be produced by British executive Mark Brunett, and is basically a modern spin on Name That Tune, where contestants play against the music identification app to try and identify a song first. It has been a long and curious journey for Shazam but, unlike many of its peers, it is still going after 15 years, which is several lifetimes in digital music.

Back in 2001, the only real use for your Nokia 3310, beyond calling and texting people, was playing Snake. That January, I got a demo of an early version of Shazam at Midem, the annual music industry conference in Cannes, where the developers held up their handset in a crowded bar as music played over the PA and, five seconds later, an SMS arrived telling us what the song was and who was singing it. It worked on proprietary acoustic fingerprinting technology and remains the most jaw-dropping deployment of nascent software I have ever experienced. It felt like magic.

When it fully launched in 2002 in the UK initially, Shazam had to rely on the 2580 short code to work (deliberately picked as the numbers made up the middle row of a handset’s keypad and therefore would be easy to remember); but then you’d have to go to an actual shop and buy the CD as iTunes did not exist then. Some experimentation with mobile operators’ portals followed, where you could download tracks straight to your phone but that was the first real white elephant of digital music retail as “mobile content” then was ostensibly polyphonic ringtones and few handsets could handle MP3s.

Shazam’s spotlight moment, however, arrived in 2008 with the debut of the Apple app store and it featured as one of the early apps in Apple’s marketing around both the store and the iPhone. Just as bands having a track used in iPod ads a few years earlier found, being associated with an Apple product could catapult you from the margins and into the mainstream. By the end of 2014, Shazam had reached 120 million monthly users and was dealing with 20 million tags a day.

There have been multiple competitors that came in its wake – notably SoundHound and Sony’s own TrackID – but they have been overshadowed by Shazam’s enormous user base (it has more than 100 million monthly users).

The post-iPhone business model then was relatively straightforward. The app was free to use but users could link through to buy identified tracks from iTunes – and later other retailers as it developed apps for every major mobile operating system – with Shazam taking an affiliate cut of every download. At its peak, the company was reporting that around 10% of tagged tracks resulted in a purchase. (There was also a paid version of the app that allowed unlimited tagging and extra functionality, but the company soon realised it had to be free at the point of initial use to get on to as many smartphones as possible – 500 million and counting.)

That was to prove a short-lived gold rush as the download market started to decline, first in the US in 2013, and now Shazam, in a telling indication of the changing of the guard, links through to streaming services like Apple Music, Deezer and Napster.

It remains an important marketing platform for the record industry, where acts and labels promote tracks in-app and ensure that as soon as pre-release tracks go to DJs, Shazam has it in its database in advance. I was once told, off the record, how one major label was sent into a flap after scoring a sync on a major ad campaign but had forgotten to send the track to Shazam and had to panic-mail the file over so that Shazam could ingest it and ensure there were no more failed tags. Shazam, at that point, was seen by labels as a second wind in marketing a track after it was used in an advert.

Fifteen years is a long time in technology and Shazam has had to evolve beyond music identification, developing trending charts and also working with TV/film companies, brands and advertisers (where posters are “Shazamable”) to extend it beyond just music. It has been involved with the Super Bowl ad break as well as American Idol, plus it has evolved its technology to let users “tag” TV shows. It has been a part of the background of shows, but Fox is hoping its brand is known and powerful enough to be parlayed into a show in its own right.

Shazam is also proof that, even with scale, it does not follow that digital companies become profitable. The company may have raised $30m of new investment at the start of 2015 to give it a market valuation of $1bn, but it is still losing money. For example, in 2014, it ran up losses of £14.8m ($19.3m) according to its filings at Companies House in the UK. It is not alone in this regard, with both Pandora and Spotify currently grappling with this exact scale/profitability conundrum.

In many ways, the Beat Shazam TV show sees it returning to its music roots. Like Hoover and Google, Shazam is that rare instance where a proper noun becomes a verb – but that can only carry you so far in terms of building a viable business. Contestants on the show stand to win “big money prizes” and Shazam itself is no doubt crossing its fingers for a similar windfall.

  • This article was amended on 12 August to clarify that Chris Barton is the founder of Shazam and not it’s current CEO, that position is held by Rich Riley.

The music identification app is teaming up with Fox for a new Name That Tune-style game show that could take it back to the top of the charts

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Entertainment Weekly: Do we have a Song of the Summer yet?

News   •   Jul 11, 2016 11:34 EDT

Independence Day has come and gone, yet no tune has emerged to rule them all. Here’s how Justin Timberlake or Drake — or a dark horse — could take the crown.

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Adweek EXCLUSIVE: ESPN The Magazine Teamed With Gatorade for This Mysterious, Tech-Savvy 'Body Issue' Cover Shazam reveals code-covered star

News   •   Jul 06, 2016 00:10 EDT

Readers will be encouraged to scan the image with Shazam, which will then reveal that the person represented by the data is Wade. The app will also show a bevy of exclusive, behind-the-scenes images from his photo shoot.

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CBS Partners With McDonald's and Coca-Cola for First Carpool Karaoke Integration Selena Gomez segment kicks off summer sweepstakes

News   •   Jun 21, 2016 00:35 EDT

The Late Late Show With James Corden's Carpool Karaoke has become a viral sensation, CBS had been eagerly looking to cash in on its success. On Monday night, the network finally found its first brand partners for the popular segment, McDonald's and Coca-Cola.

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Shazam Announces a New Initiative Built for Advertisers: Shazam for Brands

Press Releases   •   Apr 18, 2016 20:22 EDT

"Shazam is uniquely positioned to become the default platform for connecting the mobile world with the real world,” said Greg Glenday, Chief Revenue Officer, Shazam. “This began with music identification, and has allowed us to be the first to occupy invaluable real estate on smartphones around the world. "

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Shazam Named One of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2016

Press Releases   •   Feb 23, 2016 11:16 EST

Shazam, one of the world’s most popular apps for connecting artists and fans, today announced its inclusion in Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies of 2016. The annual list has become an industry standard, created to honor leading enterprises and rising newcomers that exemplify the best in nimble business and impactful innovation.

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Shazam Verified Artists Achieve Combined Reach of Over 1 Billion Followers

Press Releases   •   Sep 04, 2015 09:44 EDT

Shazam, one of the world’s most popular apps for connecting artists and fans through music discovery, today announced that its verified-artist community has achieved a combined reach of 1.4 billion followers. Starting today, shazam.com/verify is now open for all artists as a way to connect with their fans.

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  • James A. Pearson
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About Shazam

About Shazam

Shazam is one of the most popular apps of all time, used by hundreds of millions of people globally to connect to the world around them. Building on its pioneering leadership in music identification, Shazam now helps people discover, interact with, and share video, audio, or printed content on TV, radio, movie screens, magazines, newspapers, packaged goods, and retail stores -- and now Shazam lets music fans follow their favorite artists to see their Shazams and share in the thrill of discovery. The app has exceeded 20 billion total Shazams since its launch, and users Shazam over 20 million times each day. For more information on how Shazam has created new technology tools for brands to utilize data visit www.shazam.com

Press contact: PR@Shazam.com