Shazam pledges ‘new levels of immersion’ for visual scanning as it partners with Disney

Shazam is moving into visual recognition as it looks to give ‘new levels of immersion’ to consumers who scan interactive posters and print adverts, according to its VP of product for music and platforms Cait O’Riordan.


Shazam will add visual recognition functionality to extend the mobile engagement platform’s reach to posters, packaged goods and print media which feature the Shazam logo, with brands including Disney, Levi’s and Sports Illustrated already signed up to the service.

Although scanning will typically link through to trailers or additional product information, Shazam is also working on exclusive content with brands under the ‘Shazamable’ ads branding.

Disney is the first brand to take this up, with consumers who scan the movie poster for the new George Clooney film Tomorrowland in the Shazam app linked through to an exclusive interactive world promoting the film.

“In the past brands had to encourage consumers to download their app or visit their website on visual ads but we are allowing them to connect instantly with 100 million active Shazam users,” said O’Riordan.

“I think with Disney already committing to such an immersive experience on our platform with its Tomorrowland world ad, I’m confident other high profile brands will step up to the plate and deliver new levels of immersion.”

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Shazam is adding visual recognition features

Despite a recent study suggesting consumers are tiring of QR scanning ads – with only 2% of US smartphone users scanning a QR code at least once a day – O’Riordan is “confident” Shazam, which up until now has primarily allowed users to upload recordings of music to detect artist details, can add a unique level of immersion.

O’Riordan says the introduction of visual recognition capabilities will take Shazam’s advertising capabilities to “another level” and that the data it can feed back to brands on user engagement will be “powerful.”

She added: “Customers have a high standard for scanning QR codes and a brand has to offer a proper reward for doing so.

“This is just the start as we want to create a platform that utilises all sorts of real world objects so brands can create unique experiences through Shazam no matter where the customer is.”

Shazam already offers scanning opportunities through television and functionality in shopping malls in the US – two features it is considering stepping up in the UK market, according to O’Riordan.