Shazam! The music discovery company is now approaching 150 million users and is ready to leap forward on the global stage, and moving into new directions. Shazam is best known as the app that lets users identify songs and artists, by using their mobile phones to "fingerprint" music by sonically to indentify the song and artist. They have a song library of 11 million songs.
London-based Shazam just got done raising $32 million in funds from US venture capital fund Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who has invested in Google, Twitter, ComScore and Netflix and Zynga as well. They also received cash-money from DN Capital as well. Shazam wants to use the money to dive further into video and become a "global content discovery company." Reach for the sky, kid.
Shazam wants to break into TV and video with tagging, and are working with big media companies NBCUniversal and MTV right now. So far, they've come up with exceedingly boring but very direct name "Shazam for TV."
The video tagging allows Shazam to provide its sonic fingerprint technology to TV shows, ads, music videos etc. to create interactive ads. This is like a modern-day take on the barcode, creating a unique sonic fingerprint that can be tied to a brand, a TV show, a band, whatever. They'll run a Shazam logo on the screen to tell users when to "record" the sound to create the fingerprint. This is called "Shazaming."
Not that they want to abandon music: "Music is still at the core of our DNA and will always remain fundamental to who we are. Our expansion into television is a natural evolution of our technology," said Shazam Chief Executive Officer Andrew Fisher.
They're also trying to differentiate themselves from the situation Pandora Radio finds itself in with Pandora's own unique radio service. Shazam is an audio technology company with the TV thing and the global approach, raising venture capital instead of undergoing an IPO. Pandora recently went under the IPO circus and is U.S.-based internet radio provider, while Shazam is also digging TV and going global while not selling shares in its company.
Shazam recently bought Silicon Valley startup company Tunezee to provide song lyrics capabilities, calling the new service "LyricPlay." Shazam is available right now on iOS (iPhone, iPad iPod Touch), Android, Java, BlackBerry, Windows, Symbian and all other major mobile platforms.
Check out more about steaming music sites in the Spacelab Streaming Music Guide.