Monday, May 10, 2010

Name That Tune

ComScore claim the most downloaded iPhone app in the US is Facebook , in the UK it's iPint from Carling and in Europe it's Shazam. Shazam like Spotify is rewriting music as we find and consume it in this new media age. At the end of last year some 50 million users were accessing the service each month and 15million of those were on the iPhone).

Like Spotify it had the challenge of moving free users onto a paid service and it did this by launching its £2.99 one off payment service Encore at the end of 2009. Encore, comes with unlimited tagging, faster performance and a range of extra features such as music search and geo ticketing. The service has gone past mere identifying songs and offering the music, it now can determine where you are and tell you if that artist is playing concerts in your area and offers you the chance to buy tickets directly through the app.

The interesting strategy that sets Shazam apart from the rest is that it doesn’t want to own the music space and is willing to share it with others such as Pandora and This gives it a great position as the entry point for search and discovery. It also is available on multiple platforms not just the iPhone. It clearly sees the mobile space as the market and with and increasing number of smartphones, apps it makes sense. Although the iPhone, Android, RIM platforms will dominate, Shazam also are committed to supporting other handsets and working in regions such as Latin America, Africa, the Middle East. This gives them a huge market.

Shazam couldn’t be simpler and solves that age old challenge of naming that tune that’s playing. It does this some two million times a day and adds 750,000 new users every week and importantly around 8% of users who tag a song but it from an affiliate stores such as iTunes.

You could say it is simple but in its simplicity it is fast becoming the ‘cats eyes’ of the mobile market.

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