The Future of Shazam

Shazam has 100 million monthly users. Shazam has 100 million monthly users. In the last 13 years, it retains its status as one of the most downloaded apps of all time. Shazam wants to engage with consumers wherever sound is playing a role in their lives; whenever they are thinking about music.

“We planted our flag in music identification back before mobile was cool,” Riley, Shazam’s CEO tells Inc. “But we always want to do more.”

There’s more. Yet another line of revenue might be “Shazam for shopping.” The Shazam app can communicate with certain in-retail-store beacons. This sort of in-store communication with customers is all the buzz in the retail industry, as merchants have really excited about the thought of beaming targeted offers to the phones of shoppers strolling their stores. But some customers seem reluctant to download retailer-specific apps or allow unfamiliar intrusions into their personal devices.

That’s where Shazam is working on a Trojan Horse strategy. Says Riley: “Retailers realize that not that many people are willing to download their app, but most people already have Shazam.”

Anindya Ghose, an IT and marketing professor New York University’s Stern School of Business, has spent much of the past few years studying mobile marketing, interactive retail beacons, and consumer privacy around the world. He says beacons are increasingly popular in retail environments, and customers universally seem willing to give up a little bit of their data in exchange for the right rewards–say coupons or discounts. The primary hurdle to retailers using in-store mobile marketing is consumer awareness. But, Ghose says, “given that a lot of consumers have the Shazam app, it is a brilliant play.”

For the more proactive consumer, there’s also a brand new capability of Shazam that has nothing to do with music, or any sound. It’s visual identification. Visually Shazamming something, again, can lead the consumer to any website on their mobile device.

It seems any app developer that says ‘I can help you’ with connecting the physical world with the digital world, will win advertisers’ hearts.


The Future of Shazam