News & Views
More to Shazam than meets the ear

If you still think Shazam is simply there to tell you the name of that song on the radio, think again. The app is also becoming a music platform in its own right, with more and more artists choosing it as the medium to launch new songs.

“As we shift from just discovery to exploration, we love bringing our users more content,” Shazam’s head of music Peter Szabo told Mashable. “Just identifying the title and artist of the song is a great start, but if we can give users a new song, an exclusive video or other content, it’s even better. We’re thrilled that artists, management companies and labels are all coming to Shazam to release new content.”

Of course, Shazam is about much more than music. Since 2012, the company has been partnering with TV networks to roll out Shazam-enabled programming and advertising which encourages viewers to unlock additional content. Earlier this year they hired Patricia Parra, formerly of Hulu and Ouya, as CMO – a move spurred by their plans to further explore the second screen market.

“Patricia has a rare combination of fluency in technology, design and marketing, coupled with a deep understanding of how to deliver value to our users,” Rich Riley said of the new acquisition last month. “There’s no one better than Patricia to translate Shazam’s value for television and other real life use cases and increase engagement among our hundreds of millions of users.”

And it’s not just the world of TV that beckons; Shazam has its eye on the silver screen. The long-awaited dystopian adaptation of The Giver will be preceded by a series of Shazam-enabled pre-show spots in theatres, including social promotions, a selfie contest, and call to action. “It stands to reason that marketing, whether you’re promoting a film or anything else, is exponentially more effective if the audience can somehow participate,” says Stephen Bruno, President of Marketing at The Weinstein Co.

The Giver is Shazam’s first attempt at movie marketing, and not everyone is convinced that it will pay off. “As promising as these developments are, the challenges with cinema mobile marketing are likely to carry over from at-home second-screen ads,” writes Lauren Johnson at Adweek. “One of marketers’ biggest gripes with second-screen ads is that short spots don’t give consumers enough time to complete multiple steps. In the case of in-cinema, this could be an even bigger headache, as moviegoers may not even be in the theatre during the preshow.”

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