Let's play a quick game of word association. I say "Shazam" you say _____. The default answer by most would be "music". If that was your initial response then you may want to think again as Shazam Entertainment Ltd. hopes to change your association with their app.
Chances are that you have either downloaded, used, heard about or seen Shazam in action as it is available for both iOS & Android. With over 150 million users and 45 million installs on smartphones & tablets in the US, the potential reach is impressive. Boosted along the way by great reviews, exposure via Starbucks App pick of the week and continually adding new features to the ever evolving product roadmap, Shazam is quickly moving from simply being a music identification service to a player in the digital activation space.
Shazam's recent Starbucks Pick of the Week. Yes, I may have grabbed more than one....
With a recent investment of 32 million dollars, Shazam is aggressively extending the platform to support different forms of digital activation & engagement. Key changes in their model such as allowing unlimited tagging of content across all levels of their offering and strategic partnerships with NBC Universal properties has led to new features that support entertainment based tagging vs. simply tagging music.
In other words TV Spot + Shazamable Call to Action + User Tagging = Digital Activation.
By now you may have seen one of the many Shazamable ads or shows that highlights the Shazam icon placed strategically on the screen for a period of time. Initially, you may be thinking "why would I want to shazam this commercial"? Case in point, this recent Marshall's ad.
Notice the Shazam marker in the lower right
The app then uses it's spectrogram based audio footprint of the ad to identify and launch the tagged content. Instead of the standard artist & song information, the experience shifts to become the direct response launch point of branded experiences. Now Shazam supports driving a user to a branded destination as well as enable social connections with the brand, or push to an e-commerce offering. The opportunities to create an engaging digital experience is now viable by simply tagging an ad or show with the app.
Without a doubt in 2012 you will see the rise of Shazamable ads. With 150 million user reach and the fact that the second screen is becoming a mainstay to our television viewing experiences, brands & NBC Universal partners will look to Shazam as a means to drive digital interaction directly from your primary screen with the hopes of either enhancing the viewing experience or incenting users to engage with branded destinations.
The biggest barrier at this time is the stigma that Shazam is primarily a music identification service. Work will need to be done to continue to educate the 150 million current and future users that the app is going beyond figuring out what the cool song was in the latest Apple ad to that ad now creating additional digital touchpoints and the ability to buy the featured product via the app and oh by the way still tell you what the name of the song was as well.
Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360