I am sure you are more than aware about the capabilities of Shazam, the music app which made life easy for the music lovers who just couldn’t remember the exact name or the words of the songs they loved. The app was created and established in 1999 and since then, it has earned a reputation for itself as one of the best apps for identifying any music at the click of a button. Trust me, it has saved a lot of people from the troubles of searching away endlessly (mostly with no viable outcomes) for finding the song whose tune they just can’t get out of their head.
With a dedicated user population of more than 100 million, the app is now planning to take a major leap ahead by gaining the ability to see and identify objects. This might seem to be similar to Google Goggles. However, considering the expertise of Shazam in recognition features, it would definitely be something interesting to use. For a start, the adorable blue button on the home screen would remain there. New functions would be added to that in order to make the app more versatile.
Chief Executive of Shazam, Rich Riley, shared his views on the new development with Reuters (at the Mobile World Conference 2015) where he threw light on the Shazam Brand which is growing stronger with each passing day. He commented, “Shazam is already a verb. We want to expand the universe of what you can Shazam. The famous blue button that our users love will remain on the home screen but will be able to do much more.” This is more than an indication that Shazam is planning a transformation for covering visual as well as audio recognition features.
With this new feature, you would be able to get a world of information for products or objects that are right in front of you. Can you imagine the level of convenience that it would bring to the consumers? It would also encourage people to try new products because the related information would be presented before them. Consider an instance where a person is looking at a new Cereal brand in the store and just by using the Shazam app, he can access all the related information.
From a marketing perspective, this would be a useful tool to leverage for promoting and ensuring greater sales potential for the products. For the customers, this is a life saver because they would be able to access the data without having to rely on someone to present them with the required information.
The new expansion requires an appropriate funding in order to ensure that it gets the “eyes” to identify the objects. For this, the company has managed to raise $30 million from several unidentified billionaires and financial institutions in January. This additional investment would be utilized in recruiting new human resources and to engage in new partnerships with content firms as well as publishers. Shazam already has secured deals in place with all the major music streaming services such as Deezer and Spotify. This arrangement has enabled it to sell the songs on its own platform while sharing the profits / royalty with the respective partner.
It is interesting to note that the funding activity conducted recently would also enable the company to decide whether to move ahead with public funding, private funding, or a mix or both. Both the markets are profitable and they have their own benefits. The next move would decide the future prospects of the company and the potential upgrades for the app. A strong brand, scale and revenue make Shazam eligible as a listed company. The recent round of funding has increased the value of the Shazam brand, which is now rumoured to be valued at over USD 1 Billion.
All of this makes perfect sense if you relate the lack of focus on profit as a move to implement a realistic growth model for the brand. The addition of new features are definitely a welcome gesture and will be received well by the users who have already put a lot of faith in the capabilities of the app (with respect to music recognition as of now). It is possible that in the near future, Shazam could get a voice or maybe even act as an intelligent virtual assistant that would work on the basis of vocal commands. The possibilities are endless and are limited only by the horizons of your creativity and imagination.
Don’t forget to share your thoughts on Shazam’s new set of eyes. Would you prefer Shazam with object recognition feature along with the music recognition capabilities? Or would you prefer it like a music recognition app only? Voice your opinion!
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