Shazam shifts from music to TV shows

Brands can now use the Shazam app to run second-screen marketing campaigns around TV shows as the music-recognition service expands to television programming.

Shazam promises advertisers and viewers second screen experiences around TV shows with expanded features.

Viewers can use the expanded features as a “companion app” with any TV show to access cast details, photos, music in the show, celebrity tweets, trivia as well as post comments directly to Facebook and Twitter.

Additionally, different types of programming will produce different information on the app. For example, sports events will include stats, scores and fixtures instead of cast information.

The expanded service will launch in the US from today (17 September) before rolling out to UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Shazam has previously worked with brands to run promotions around TV commercials and specific shows over the last 18 months. Since the start of the year, the company has partnered with several brands including Cadbury, PepsiCo, Renault and Microsoft to offer exclusive content around separate TV commercials in the UK.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Jason Titus chief technology officer at Shazam, says the company says the move into TV is part of a wider strategy to expand the types of content that users can Shazam.

He adds: “By expanding our service to reach any TV content we think we’ll bring about a larger number of users as a result. This will mean that they’re engaging with advertisers more. We’ve done around 140 campaigns with brands around their TV commercials. There’s a significant number of these brands that are renewing with us because there seeing value in this additional layer of interactivity around TV.”

Shazam is also set to introduce new social features so that users are able to make comments about the shows and music tracks their friends are tagging directly from the app to Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Andrew Fisher, chief executive of Shazam, says that by broadening the app’s television service and through offering more comprehensive social features the company hopes to drive “activity and engagement.”

Shazam’s increased focus on TV comes as it looks to take a share of the growing social TV market. It sees the company go head-to-head with UK business Zeebox, which is building its advertising proposition around viewers being able to buy products directly from TV adverts.

Despite the shift in focus, Shazam says it is still focused on building its business through music, after hailing the role it has played in building its global user base to more than a quarter of a billion over the last decade.

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