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Better TV Engagement with Shazam

One of the things I love about my HTC EVO (a droid enabled smartphone for those not in the know) is that I have several apps I can use at any time to help me look up information. This is a nice trick at parties because it makes me appear smarter than I really am. I’ve used GasBuddy to drive an extra 10 miles just to save five cents on gas and IMDB to find out who that hot actress on screen for all of 30 seconds was; but the app that I like the best is Shazam.
When it comes to music, I never know what song is being sung, or even who sings it. When a classic rock song comes on I immediately blurt out Led Zepplin, which gets me dirty looks from my musically attuned girlfriend, who replies back with something to the effect of: “no stupid that’s Madonna.” Shazam helps me avoid these awkward moments by listening to the song and telling me the name of the song, who sang it, and even plays the lyrics of the song line by line at the same time the music is playing.
Shazam has been growing over the last few years. The UK-based company services more than 200 million people over seven major mobile platforms in more than 200 countries. 1.5 million new users gravitate towards the app every week, helping to keep it in the top 10 most downloaded apps of all time in iTunes. Besides saving me from endless hours of ridicule, Shazam has moved beyond being just a simple song ID service and has evolved into a gateway that connects TV programming and commercials with a users’ smartphone, giving them a “second screen” to quickly access information.
The advantage to marketers is that it can be used by people who may be interested in the advertisement but in the past haven’t sought out more information either because they just don’t want to get off of the couch or by the time the get to their computer they forget what they were going to look up. Commercials that are Shazam-able allow the user to pick up their smartphone (which from personal experience is never more than five feet away from me) and tag the commercial to see what pops up. This is a perfect opportunity for an advertiser to extend the TV commercial experience and have the user become more engaged with the brand message. As Lauren Hockensen wrote in her recent Mashable article, Shazam: The Secret to Better TV Engagement?, “The bottom line is that incorporating Shazam into television — whether through ads, scripted series or live television — equals increased engagement. When comparing Shazam’s tags to Facebook Likes or tweets, data from an average show indicates that there are more tags through Shazam than tweets and Likes combined on day of air.”
Shazam is not just limited to commercials. Live events such as the Grammy Awards and the Super Bowl have been Shazam-ed, bringing the user more in-depth information as an event is happening in real time.
It’s no secret that apps from Smartphones and iPads are becoming more important in our daily lives. As brands and agencies look for new and exciting ways to engage consumers, a keen eye should be kept on apps such as Shazam that totally immerse the user by bringing digital and traditional media together.

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