Shazam announced today that its mobile media tagging and identification app would be integrated into the remaining broadcasts of this season of FOX’s reality music competition American Idol. It’s a high-profile partnership for the London-based company that first achieved widespread recognition in 2008 with its music-identifying iPhone app, and one that signals the company’s increasing dedication to second-screen TV interaction experiences.
American Idol viewers who use the app during the broadcast will get access to Twitter streams, song lists, and additional content like links to purchase songs. “Enabling people to use Shazam with both taped and live television broadcasts is just a natural extension to the Shazam experience for fans and the company,” said David Jones, Shazam’s EVP in charge of marketing. “We’ve learned from the Super Bowl, the GRAMMY Awards and other shows and events that live television events are terrific for showcasing what Shazam’s technology and product experience can bring to people.”
Shazam now says it has over 200 million users – back in January before both the GRAMMYs and the Super Bowl, it had 175 million, so it has added at least 25 million users in the interim months. TV event integrations allow Shazam to get its brand in front of users who might not otherwise know about apps, even popular ones on Apple and Google’s software marketplaces.
Jones said that there’s opportunity not only for Shazam, but also for TV content providers, who need to be on-point as viewers increasingly look for second-screen info and supplementary content sources. “By creating an engaging second-screen experience for shows like American Idol, people using Shazam have an opportunity to engage more deeply in American Idol – and actually extend the time viewers are involved with the programming,” he said. “This should turn more viewers into fans, more fans into “super fans” and drive more conversations about the show, both online and offline.”
“Since people are multi-tasking with their smartphones and tablets, it’s best to have an experience to keep them engaged in your show or to engage with your brand, versus losing that multi-tasking attention to other tasks or TV content,” Jones explained about Shazam’s approach, referring to a Nielsen study released today that says dual-screen viewing, especially with tablets, is on the rise.
Aside from having the right tech already on devices, Shazam also offers a way for brands to get users to preferred destinations, thanks largely to convenience. “We make it as easy as it can be to ‘get to the right place,’” he said. “Just launch the app and in a few seconds you’re in the right place thanks to our audio content recognition technology that can instantly identify what you are watching, This is so much more convenient than launching a browser on your mobile phone and typing in a URL or doing a search.”
Shazam isn’t alone in trying to push second-screen destinations for TV audiences. GetGlue, which bills itself as a “social network for entertainment,” tries to get users interacting around a show or event, and announced crossing the two million user mark in January. Shazam, however, has a much larger install base, as well as solid brand recognition among device owners. If it continues to create these kinds of partnerships, it could easily become the second-screen brand to beat.