Friday, September 21, 2012

Shazam Expands to TV

For a while now, Shazam has offered an app that lets users tag the music they're listening to, as an aid in identifying songs and artists, keeping track of preferences, sharing music through social networks, and previewing and purchasing music.  Shazam claims it connects 250 million people from 200 countries, in 33 languages, making it "the world's largest media engagement company.
  Now Shazam has announced its entry into the world of TV.
Shazam's chief revenue officer, Doug Garland was quoted as proclaiming “Now you can tag any show and what you’ll get back is a rich experience that gets you more engaged with TV programming, more invested with the show.“
  Shazam works by using an archive of "sound fingerprints" to identify songs and programs; once something is tagged, Shazam identifies the content, and then offers access to other content and activities linked to it.  Shazam has partnered with some specific TV shows and programming in the past, but full entry into TV was delayed while the company built up a library of "sound fingerprints" for TV and movie programming.
  Tagging a program will identify the program if it's in the archive.  Among the additional options for users tagging a show, can be things like accessing cast information and celebrity news, playing trivia, and engaging with other viewers on social media.  And harkening back to Shazam's origins, it can also be used to identify the music being used within a TV program.
“You’ll see people engage with a show while its on air, but I don’t necessarily think it’ll be in a way where you distract them from the show,” Garland said. “It’s a buzz tidbit, a mini content snack. You get more invested in the show the next time you watch.”
  The rise of "second-screen" and social TV viewing has created new opportunities for program producers, networks, and advertisers to provide a range of additional content or activities to interested viewers.  Shazam, and similar services, offers a delivery system.  And among "companion" apps, Shazam has scale and reach - currently adding an additional 2 million users a week, and a user base that generates around 10 million new tags a week. 

  Shazam and similar apps seem like they'd be useful tools for active listeners and viewers, and for those who are looking for ways to engage with content and/or with friends and other fans of programs.  But ultimately the key will be how well a particular app can correctly identify tagged program content, and the quality of the value-added extras offered through the app.  It will likely be a while before its clear how successful these "companion" apps will be.

Source - Shazam Wants to Dominate the TV Market, and Here's How,  The Wrap / promaxBDA daily brief

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