Shazam
from music recognizer to second-screen enabler

There are moments when you have honestly to admit yourself you didn’t understand the meaning of something.
That you misunderstood the purpose of an action and that you underestimate its value.
This is exactly what happened to me yesterday.

When I read about Shazam getting loads of money to recognize TV shows and adv I did not understand what was going on.

Then I came across this commercial by Vodafone Italia.
The Shazam logo appeared on the screen and I gave it a try.
The result left me impressed: an extra video was running on my phone with more content and, obviously, more adv.
Vodafone had just engaged me.

The Vodafone example is nothing compared with what NBC did for the Red Bull Supernatural Snowboarding competition.
The interaction there was even stronger as you could watch the video of a snow-border getting downhill on the TV screen, and see his first-person perspective on your smartphone at the same time.
Everything accessible with a simple touch, in a sort of device pairing, just through the sound.

And this is just the beginning. There are tons of opportunities and applications that can be done.
The focus of the company on adv is so high, that they launched “Shazam Engagement Rate” on June this year.
The new metric aims to give brands a way to control over the effectiveness of their TV adv campaigns.

Brands are using Shazam for TV to ‘continue and complement’ their 30-second spots in several minutes of engagement on the ‘second screen’ – smartphones, iPads and tablets.

This seems the kind of interaction QR code should have been suitable for, but neither truly got: an easy way to provide an easy and almost transparent way to connect online content to an offline basis and add an extra information layer on another device.
Shazam is turning into this content enabler element.
Today it can launch a video from a TV adv.
Tomorrow it could be suitable to interact with concerts, performance or anything having a sound.

But such an amount of options could be even bigger by allowing developers to interact with them.
Other companies are trying to take over the rise of sound enabled features by providing a platforms instead of apps.
Gracenote has already released its Entourage API to identify audio fingerprint and provide content and metadata that developers can use in their applications.
I am wondering if the Shazam is planning to release an SDK or an API as well.

The fight for the second-screen enabling is just started.
I am really curious to see what brands will think up to take advantage of this new tool to engage customers.