Shazam is a digital success story in itself. Who hasn’t already “shazamed” a song playing on the radio when you missed the artist and the track name announcement? Probably all of us. However, who went further than just using its music-identification service and fully discovered what the app has to offer?
The company was founded in 1999, long before smartphones became a reality. Initially, the early adopters would have to dial a number on their mobiles phones and would then receive the name of the song they were searching for in a text message. When the first iPhone came out, Shazam was one of the first apps available on the AppStore and therefore seized the opportunity to pioneer music recognition solutions. The app is presently housed by 400 million users across the globe, using it to identify 10 million songs a day. But how many of its users realized that it is not strictly limited to telling you what song is playing on the radio? Shazam offers other cool features on top of that, and you are probably, too, missing some of them.
Using the songs that you already “tagged”, Shazam will provide you with the latest news regarding the artists you enjoy listening to, be they video clips, new songs or even previews of their upcoming record. Connect it to Facebook and the app will come up with what your friends have tagged, with a “play” button to give you a short sample of what it sounds like. More about Long Format Tiktok
This table-shaped functionality will come up to show you the new popular records, according to different criteria (slide to change interface). The idea here is to retain the user by suggesting songs that they will discover, enjoy and share later on. This feature was added in the middle of 2013, and turned the app onto a music-discovery service.
Explore showcases what’s hot, and where. This is a pretty cool option which will map the songs that have been identified by location, even though it is to be noted that the Top10 usually gathers the same records regardless of the geographical position.
As Mashable reports, Shazam are now teaming up with Soundcloud: “Shazam users can play the song on the SoundCloud player, below, and then use Shazam to find the music video, as the app recognizes the audio, featuring Chromeo’s Dave 1 and P-Thugg. The exclusive debut bypasses MTV, Vevo and YouTube, where music videos often premiere, although the “Come Alive” will eventually be available at those traditional locations, too.”
What does the future hold for Shazam?
In terms of corporate strategy, the London-based firm also has big plans for the future and has received a $40million-worth back up from the 2010-2013 Richest Man in the World, Carlos Slim.
Retail is a domain Shazam is particularly focusing on, and some campaigns have already ended succesfully. Fisher said the following:
“What we want to be is the go-to application on people’s devices when they want to engage with content around them. Whether that’s music, or whether it’s television, or whether it’s being in a retail store, we want people to think of Shazam as making it as easy as possible for them to engage with that brand or content owner.”
Shazam is striving towards linking up TV and second-screen devices while providing an unprecedented user experience.
“The hard part is actually working with content owners and creative agencies to come up with meaningful experiences … that people haven’t experienced before. That’s what’s taken the time, and that’s actually paid huge dividends.”
– Andrew Fisher, Executive Chairman at Shazam
Yet, we are not using Shazam everytime we watch TV, and it remains to be seen whether the recently-implemented automatic tag option will change the game.
Over the years, Shazam has reinvented itself from a tiny song-identifying text message service to a widely use smartphone app. Can it brings its concept to the next level and effectively further diversify its portfolio?